What going to summer camp gave me
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When You Give A Girl A Summer Camp

Camp has given me lifelong friends and family, and memories that I will forever laugh or cry at.

When You Give A Girl A Summer Camp
Cecelia Hopkins

I've been going to summer camp since I was six years old. I've only ever been to one summer camp, I've made new friends every year, I've reconnected with the friends I made from the year before. I've seen the camp that I've been going to my whole life change every year. And if I could relive every camp moment I would with a snap of a finger.

Summer camp isn't just a place you go to because your parents want you to get out of the house. It's a place you go too to unplug and to meet new people with different perspectives. It's a place where you find yourself and you make yourself into the human being you want to be.

Not only do I have several memories I will remember forever from camp but I have people to recall those memories with. It's surprising how close you can get with a person for the duration of one week. Being at camp gives you the freedom to be whoever you want with no judgment from anyone, you can be friends with whoever you want and no one will judge you because of that.

Going to camp has given me people that I can call family and others that I can call friends. You learn to live with these people for a week and you learn so much about them; their home life, love life, and just them personally. A camp setting is just filled with support from everyone that it's hard not open up to at least one person.

Being at camp has helped me be as open-minded as I am today. By meeting so many people from all over with different backgrounds I've learned to be open-minded about people's personalities and their likes/dislikes. I've learned that by no chance is there going to be two people that are the same, everyone has a different background which impacts them in a way. By meeting so many people and hearing them tell me about their life and what they do I've realized that. And I don't think if I wasn't in the position to hear about their stories I wouldn't be so open-minded about people's differences.

Being around so many people have also helped me be more confident. At camp, you have to do these silly songs, silly dance moves, and just everything you do is silly and embarrassing. But everyone else is doing those same silly and embarrassing things so you start to just not care about doing it in front of people. When you do it so many times a day for a week or more every year you just start to not care if you embarrass yourself outside of camp. There have been times when I have done something so embarrassing but I just laughed it off and didn't even care that I did it.

Being at camp also gave me opportunities to push myself to do things I would have never imagined myself doing. I've climbed a rock wall, went down a zip line, I've done archery, and I've taken care of a horse for a week. Going down the zip line was a big deal for me when I did it because I'm afraid of heights. Now when I look at a zip line all I see is how fun it's going be going down it. I'm still afraid of heights that I'm not as afraid like I was before I went down the zip line the first time.

A summer camp isn't just a summer camp, its a place you call home if my parents hadn't sent me there when I was six my experience with life would've been so different. I believe everyone needs to go to camp at least once, and its never to late to go either. Camp gives so much; it gives you a home, friends, memories, confidence, and the most important thing, happiness.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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