Friday, 2 October 2015

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

What time is it? Summer time!

It feels like just yesterday we were bobbing along to those glorious High School Musical lyrics. This summer flew by, as it always does, but you know what they say: Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened (but you can cry a little when you think about how much ice cream you ate).

There are many options to be taken advantage of when it comes to the much anticipated hiatus from school: travel, do an internship, take courses, work at Starbucks, make prank phone calls with friends, etc. These are all fun choices, and having experienced most of them (sorry Mom – ‘Betsy’ calling from Lotto 649 seven years ago was me), I believe one of the best summer adventures to dive into is camp. This past summer, I was lucky enough to return to sleepover camp for the 16th time.

When people ask why camp means so much to me, I describe it as: An oasis where a concern-free fantasy thrusts itself upon you as a new reality. A community of best friends, ranging from bed-wetters to grey hair. A hotbed for inside jokes shared by so many people, they probably shouldn’t even be classified as inside jokes. A blank canvas on which you can make a kid’s summer using innovation and creativity. A classroom in which the subject is every transferable skill imaginable. A place where you can be yourself, while you’re learning exactly who that is. I always liked to think of it as an opportunity for opportunity.

Once you get to 24 and you’re still going to summer camp (well, you get made fun of a lot), but, besides a blast with friends, you also come to appreciate a building of character that readies you for career and family life. From a young age, the situations we’re exposed to in the camp setting have us: think on our feet, be patient, stay organized, be hygienic, trust our instincts, be a good friend, stay grounded, take risks, perform, be assertive, let the little things go, be open-minded, compromise, be empathetic, and not take a second of any of it for granted.

I’m glad to say this is how I spent my summer vacation, and I’m confident my future employers will too. For campers who are ever uneasy about attending sleepover camp for the first time: It will change your life. You can quote me on that.

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