I've gone to a summer camp since I was six. When I first started as a camper, I was really shy, I only talked enough to make one friend. The older I got and the longer I went camping I started to get out of that shell. I started to make more friends and stopped being so shy. I started to be loud like really loud.
Now that I work at the same camp I've gone too since I was six I always look back at what I've learned and what I keep learning. Being at a summer camp for so long has helped me use tools I've learned there and apply them in different situations. Here a few things I've learned:
Creative problem solving
Sometimes working at a summer camp you have to think of things at the top of your head and sometimes stuff come out of your mouth before you even think and you just have to roll with it.
During staff training, you're given a team and in this team, a person chooses to lead the group while one person is assigned to act like a camper you might have. Well one time when I was leading one of my co-workers called another person trash and before even thinking about what to say or what to do I just blurted out "maybe we're all trash" and I had no idea what I was talking about but I had to keep talking and act like I knew exactly what I was talking about.
Putting myself out there
I've put myself in situations that I wouldn't even have imagined when I was six or even 15. I've learned to make myself try new things and to take myself out of my comfort zone because you never know what you're going to achieve by doing so.
Speaking in front of people
Being at camp you learn to sing all these crazy songs in front of everyone. I use to choke on my words when speaking in front of a crowd. Now you can tell me to go on a stage in front of 300 people and yeah I will be nervous but when I'm on stage I will own it like I'm not scared that I'm up there and I won't choke on my words. I've learned to contain my fear of public speaking.
I've learned that everyone comes from a different place and everyone has a different personality and different perspectives. And to become friends with those people that are different then you, you have to be open-minded. You might like them or you might not like them but you will never know if you don't open your mind to get to know them.
Being prepared for the unexpected
I use to think that when people said this it was dumb because it's the unexpected so how are you going to be prepared for it. But I've kind of learned that you can't be too prepared for anything even the expected so now I take this saying as just thinking of things that can happen and being prepared for it.
How to embarrass myself but not feeling embarrassed
Part of being a counselor is literally embarrassing yourself and as a camper, if you embarrass yourself no one really cares because everyone is doing something or just did something to embarrass themselves. Because of being around that atmosphere for so long I don't even pay attention to the stupid stuff I do in public. I have literally fallen in front of a cute boy and just laughed because I fell and I didn't feel embarrassed.
There are always ups and downs in every situation
Even if the upside of the situation is just the resolution of the problem there was still an upside. Everyone always thinks of the downside that a situation but I've learned to think of both because you don't want the downside to bother you for too long.
A family isn’t always by blood
This is one is the most important to me. I've met so many people and some of them have made such an impact on me and have helped me through moments in my life that I couldn't even imagine would've gone well if they weren't there. A family is people that will be there when you need them to and people that you have a connection with that you can't even explain.