I am about to attend camp for my ninth summer in a row and I am just as excited ( if not more excited) then I was my first summer. I am now no longer a camper, but a counselor and I feel so blessed to be able to work at one of the places most special to my heart. My camp is in a beautiful national forest, surrounded by tall trees and mountains, featuring lakes and open blue sky and the clearest view of the stars you could ever imagine.

The area my camp is in also lacks cell phone service or really any contact with the outside world which is part of why going to camp is so magical. Going to camp was amazing for me and I think it is an amazing experience for most children.

Camp gives children so many experiences and helps develop so many positive traits.

Being away from home (in a safe environment) helps foster independence and a sense of confidence and adventure.

Meeting new kids helps to foster social skills and build lifelong friendships.

Trying new ( but safely controlled) experiences, such as archery, hiking, swimming, etc. instill a sense of confidence and a willingness to try new things.

Being away from technology really forces one to live completely in the moment- and also helps to create strong, long-lasting friendships.

The unique challenges that being at camp present help create resiliency in a controlled environment.

The pushing out of comfort ones can spark creativity and passion in a child that might not have connected with that creative outlet before.

There is just something about sleepaway camp that lends itself to life long friendships. You may only be there for a week, but sleeping/eating and being with the same people for 24 hours creates a closeness that is unparalleled elsewhere.

I strongly suggest to buy the bug spray and the sunscreen, and to have an open mind and to go to a camp- you'll have the best summertime stories and life long friends.