Have you ever done something spontaneous, and the decision actually made your life change for the better? That is what happened to me when I applied to be a camp counselor. My youth director actually tagged me in a post on Facebook about Cedar Crest taking applications for camp counselors. In my mind when I got the tag I thought, “This is the greatest thing on the Earth!” Then, after I filled out my application, I realized that I had no experience at all with children. Also, keep in mind that I was not outdoorsy at all. After this, I called my mom and told her I applied to be a camp counselor. My mom pretty much had the same reaction that I had after I filled out the application, but we came to the conclusion that it would be good for me to get out of my comfort zone.
Flash forward a couple of months when I have my interview, and then in April of 2016, I get a call saying I got the job at Cedar Crest. Then, during the first week of June, I started staff training which included lifeguard training, CPR and first aid. We also learned how to handle certain things that come with being a counselor. We learned how to handle homesick children, how to keep kids entertained when they are bored, how to still be assertive but friendly at the same time and many other things.
During these first two weeks of training, I learned so much about myself that I never knew. I learned that it’s OK to feel uncomfortable in situations that you aren’t used to because that means that you’re growing as a person. I realized that it’s OK to ask for help if I don’t understand what I’m doing because as a camp counselor I am responsible for kids that look for guidance in what they’re doing. I never said that I didn’t have obstacles along the way, though, such as nature trying to kill me when some bug stung me, making my face swell up; I stayed knocked out on Benadryl for about two days.
Finally, the first week came, and we had campers. I was super nervous because I thought that parents would have these really hard questions that I didn’t know the answers to, but it turns out they didn’t. These parents trusted me with their kids, and that was a huge relief. That is how camp went pretty much all summer, but I haven’t gotten to the best part yet about what camp gave me.
Camp gave me my people. Even though it has been over a year since I worked at camp, I still talk to my co-counselors that I shared my summer with. My camp friends made me feel at home, and they let me be me. I don’t feel like I have to be someone else when I am with them. These people that I met through camp let me be my awkward self, who is really bad at telling stories, and they let me make the same pun all the time. They accept me for me, and that is what everyone is looking for in this world. I am so thankful for that tagged post because I would have never met my people without it.
The next time that you make a spontaneous decision, it could be the best life changing decision ever! If you are interested in being a camp counselor for Cedar Crest, you can look at their website http://cedarcrestcamp.org/! Check out the website and discover your home away from home like I did!
Photo courtesy of Lora Moore