A Camp Update

A whole heck of a lot of things have happened over the past week that have made me a better person and therefore a better teacher. I love camp and the difference it makes in the lives of campers as well as staff and everyone who comes into contact with it is significant. Here is last week in a nutshell…

  • I was in Omaha cabin and my co-counselor was the bomb! #sharkbaitomaha
  • I will be moving one cabin over to Ojibwa for week 4.
  • I will be a pathfinder both of my weeks at camp.
  • Four of my campers this week were in my cabin two years ago.
  • I have gotten to see both of my old co-counselors and most of my other camp friends.
  • My first camp friend and I did a running hug the first time we saw each other right in the middle of the dinning hall.
  • My very best camp friend and I got to talk and laugh and drive around together for hours.
  • I spent 2 hours in a Arby’s with my friend and then missed Finding Dory…
  • I have injured myself in the following ways- smacked my head on the wire chicken coup, smashed my finger in the cabin door while trying to kill a spider, burnt my finger at the cookout and still used it to shoot a bow and arrow because  love it so much, rowed the rescue boat until my chest muscles hurt so bad I had trouble sitting up this morning, and I fell out of the rescue boat chest first into the sand in front of God and everyone.
  • I had some deep conversations with other staff members and campers.
  • I finally listened to half of a song from Hamilton and feel an obsession coming on.
  • I got stuck by a train for 20 min.
  • I blobbed eight year olds at the lake.
  • I swam under the dock, which I have always been afraid to do because I thought my head might get stuck. My head did not get stuck.
  • I cooked on the pizza oven without any problems and no one had to eat cold pizza.
  • I learned to French braid.
  • I ate Mitchell’s for the first time this summer.
  • A camper put her wet finger in my ear…
  • I went to Walmart and only bought things that were on my list, a new swim suit and a poster board.
  • I spent time on the bridge at Purdue that was closed last year.
  • I danced on the lake beach to my favorite pop song with some of the best humans I know.
  • I chose the friendship bead so that I can focus on working to maintain the friendships God has blessed me with.
  • I am, once again, part of the family here at camp.

What Camp Means

A little over an hour ago, I arrived at the happiest place on earth. For those of you who might be mistaken about where the happiest place on earth is, it is not Disney. It is Camp. This will be my third summer here and while this one is a bit shorter than the others I am determined to make up for the length with most exciting adventures and happy memories. 

Strictly speaking, this post is not about my class but you’re going to read about it anyway, right? Honestly, more than almost any other experience in my life, camp has prepared me to be a teacher. I have always had the ability to teach. I tutored and helped others in school. I could do the explaining part. 

The hard part of teaching is not the actual teaching. It is the patience and love that are important. Camp was where I actually figured out that love is shown in a lot of different ways. Some people argue, some hug, some lick the back of your arm from your elbow to your shoulder. But love is love. 

Truly, love is something that comes from somewhere your brain cannot possibly touch. Rationality is not really a part of it. Yesterday I finally read the sticky notes my class wrote about me. I haven’t been able to look at them without crying until yesterday. I made it to the second note before I lost it. 

The students had been asked what they liked about me. One student simply said, “she gives me hugs.” He wasn’t the easiest student to love but somewhere inside, like I said, the part of me my brain cannot reach loved him. 

Camp was the place where I realized that part of me existed. I am forever greatful to the people that make that place so special.