If there's one thing that's truly stayed consistent in my life no matter how old I get, it's summer camp. For me in particular, 4-H camp. Every summer since I was eight years old I've gone to at least one summer camp, first as a camper and now as a counselor and staff member. Of course, when I tell people I'm going to camp I'm constantly met with "Aren't you a little old for that?" or "Really, that's what you wanna do with your summer?". Well, to all of those who are wondering, let me tell you exactly why I still go to camp.
1. To escape the stress of the real world
While you're away at camp it's like you're in your own little bubble and the rest of the world doesn't exist. While I'm at camp I'm not worried about politics, my job or my email, I'm just at camp.
2. To have fun
Believe it or not, even at 21, camp is a freakin' blast! I can't tell you a time when I laugh louder or smile more than I do while I'm there.
3. To gain valuable life skills
Teamwork, public speaking, critical thinking, and self-confidence are just a few of the things I've learned at camp over the years. Not to mention I know how to clean up puke and hello, future parenting necessities.
4. To build lasting friendships
A lot of my closest friends come from summer camp, whether we were campers together or staff. We can go weeks, months, or sometimes even years without seeing one another but that doesn't change a thing. Honestly, I'd be lost without them.
5. To help mold future leaders
If I had to pick just one reason why I come back to camp year after year, it would be this. I can only hope to have a fraction of an impact on my campers that my counselors did on me.
While it may be hard for some people to understand why I keep coming back to camp summer after summer, for me, it's something I don't even have to think about. Of course, there will come a time when life gets too busy for me to run away to my happy place for a few weeks each summer, but until then you'll know exactly where to find me.