Open Letter To My Campers

Open Letter To My Campers

It’s been an honor to watch you grow up
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To My Dear Summer Children,

By the time you read this you’ll be far away from the little cabin in the woods where we met. You might be at school with your friends or you may have a job of your own, but wherever you are, I know you aren’t wildly running around one of the most magical places in the world: camp.

Sometimes, those who haven't gone to camp can't imagine how a large plot of land with old cabins and cafeteria food is magical. They don’t get the appeal, inside jokes or the remember whens. But you are like me: you have gone to camp, and you understand it’s magic. You understand how time stops at camp. Nothing outside of the gates of camp matters, and though you think you’re having fun and playing games, you’re really growing, learning about yourself and other people. But then you blink -- and summer is over.

The bonds formed at sleep away camp is extremely special. You make life long friends, friends who love you for you. They have seen you at your worst, your ugliest and somehow they still love you. Whether you know it now or not, they have and they will affect your life in more ways than you can even imagine. I’ve realized this so much as I’ve gotten older.

Then, there’s the bond you and I share; camp counselors and campers form one of the most unique relationships. Sometimes, we joked around and you called me mom, but the truth is, for nine weeks you were like my children. My job was to make sure you were safe, and your job was to have fun. I laughed with you, I cried with you, and even though you drove me so crazy, I could never stay mad at you. Saying goodbye to you and returning you to your real mom at the end of the summer was hard to do.

The truth is, coming home from camp sucks. No matter how old you are, it never gets easier. When I was a camper leaving camp meant saying goodbye to my friends. Now, as a counselor, it means letting go of you and watching you leave the magic of camp to go back to what we all dread, real life. Although we don’t spend every waking minute of the day together anymore, I hope you know I think of you all the time.

Like a real mother, I want the best for you and I worry about you. I’ve watched you laugh at a joke until you couldn’t breathe. I’ve seen you capsize a boat and get frustrated, and I was proud of you when you shook it off. Through it all, I wished that you could stay young forever. I wished that you could forever live in the magical, simple, hysterically crazy world that is camp. Because camp is where you see the good in everyone, everyone genuinely wants the best for each other. And while that can never realistically happen, wishing you would be forever young is in some ways selfish of me. With age comes new opportunities, new experiences, and new fun. I can’t wait to watch you make the most of your life.

No matter where life takes, you, what job you pursue, or how you choose to live your life; I hope you know that I will always love you. Because I was your summer mom, and that’s what us moms do, we love you, kids. And just in case, we don’t cross paths again in the future, remember these life keys.

1. Don’t grow up too fast –- you aren’t missing out on anything. In fact, when you’re my age, you’ll wish you were still 13.

2. Be true to yourself.

Don’t spend time with people who don’t treat you properly or make you feel bad about yourself.

3. Being popular is so overrated.

4. So is being the “it girl.”

5. You’re someone’s role model, whether you realize it or not.

6. Be someone your younger self would look up to and your future self would be proud of.

7. Be nice -- it’s not hard to do, and there’s a lot to be said for being a nice person.

8. Keep in touch with your camp friends, and make an effort to see them at least once a year.

No matter how far they are, they will always be your family.

Thank you for being such a big part of some of my greatest summer memories. Believe it or not, you changed my life. You forced me to grow up, but let me be a kid at the same time. Thank you for teasing me, asking me super personal and unnecessary questions that I would never answer, and for making every single day an unpredictable wild adventure. It’s been an honor to watch you grow up and I can’t wait to watch you live the rest of your life.

Love always,
“Mom”

Cover Image Credit: Alexandra Alimaras

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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20 Amazing Songs You Need For Your Travel Music Videos

Planning to make your new travel video? Use one of these songs as your perfect background music!

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Based on the mood you're currently feeling, here are 20 different songs categorized by when you should use them for a traveling music video:


1. For Those Classic Summer Feels

"Harvest Moon" by Poolside

"Gone" by JR JR

"Hold My Hand" by Jess Glynne

"Summer" by Calvin Harris

For all the lake adventures and mission trips, these are the perfect songs to put behind them to share your experience. Using these songs, your video can have a perfect summer vibe to it!

2. For A Good Winter Vacation

"The Days" by Avicii

"Something Just Like This" by The Chainsmokers

"Roses" by The Chainsmokers

"It Ain't Me" by Kygo ft. Selena Gomez

It's hard finding a perfect song for a cold winter day. These songs can work amazingly to any snowy adventurous video you've made for your winter break.

3. For Everyday Adventures

"Shut Up and Dance" by WALK THE MOON

"To Let Myself Go" by The Avener

"All That Matters" by Justin Bieber

"Youth" by Troye Sivan

We all have our daily vlogs filled with school and friends. These songs can put a touch of amusement and thrill to these videos!

4. For The Perfect Spring Break At The Beach

"Steal My Girl" by One Direction

"The Nights" by Avicii

"Runaways" by Galantis

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen

Every girl has the perfect week at the beach once a year! These songs can show off how incredible your experience with your friends was.

5. For Those City Nights

"Bullet Train" by Stephen Swartz

"Love You Like A Love Song" by Selena Gomez

"G.O.M.D." by J. Cole

"The Heart Wants What It Wants" by Selena Gomez

We all take visits to the city and never have the right songs to make a video with. These upbeat songs will make your city vlog into a perfect travel video!

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