Four summers ago when I decided to get a summer job at camp I never knew how much the place would mean to me. I thought it would just be a job to make money over the summer. Boy was I wrong. That place taught me so much about myself. I learned some things I never knew I needed to know and made some amazing friendships that won't soon be forgotten. I decided to compile a list of all the things I've learned by working at camp.
You don't have to know someone for a long time to trust them.
The people I worked with were the most trustworthy people I had ever met. I could tell them anything and know it would be safe with them. This is such a special thing to have a trust that strong with people you've just met. Camp creates a bond like no other.
It is possible to feed 80 people with only a gas stove for two days.
Now you may wonder how I found this out. Well during the first week of camp we were hit by a large storm causing a lot of damage. This left us with no power and no way to keep the food we already had in the fridge and freezer cold. We were very innovative and used what we had. Luckily we were able to save some of the things in the fridge. Having only a gas stove made things difficult, but we made it work and kept our staff fed and happy.
Never underestimate the power of a night under the stars talking about life with your best friends.
These were my favorite nights. All we needed were a couple blankets and pillows and to go lay out in Deere Field under the stars. Under these stars, we talked about everything from boys to college to our biggest dreams and fears. These are the nights I'll never forget. There is something almost healing about getting lost in conversation under the stars.
Chicken tenders and mac n cheese will never fail to bring joy to anyone no matter how old they are.
I have never seen a group of people so excited for chicken tenders as these guys. There was so much screaming for joy. It is truly their favorite meal.
You will buy everything you never knew you needed at Goodwill.
A weekend or night off is never complete with a run to the local Goodwill. From clothes that you might actually wear to pink sweat pants and cowboy hats and everything in between. There will always be someone convincing you that you really do need everything that you have found, even if you only wear it at camp. It's the official store of Camp Napowan.
Bohemian Rhapsody can make any day brighter.
I don't know how many times I heard this song this summer, but it never failed to put a smile on my face. Especially when brooms become air guitars.
You're never alone.
If you ever feel alone, there is always someone there to change that. It could be the middle of the night and there will be someone who will drop everything and wake up just to be there for you. They treat you like family. The staff quickly becomes your best friends and will always make you feel loved.
You can never have too many best friends.
Thanks to camp, I have a lot of best friends. Sure I have one best friend who stands out among the rest, but I truly have so many best friends that I love and care about so much. I know I can always count on them to be there for me and I will always be there for them.
We will always have something in common.
No matter where we all go in life, there will always be something pulling us back together and that's camp. We will never lose that bond. It's something we all share.
We change lives.
I know I don't see it as much because I don't have the interaction with the scouts like the rest of the staff does because I am in the kitchen. But I do get to see the joy on the scouts faces when they talk to their favorite staff member or when they scream at the top of their lungs because they just earned a merit badge. It is truly a special thing.
I am so grateful to have spent the last four summers at such a special place. I will never forget the people I've met. The friendships I forged are ones that will last forever. So I say thank you to my Napo Fam for helping me learn all of these life lessons. And thank you for being the best friends I could ever have.
Napowan Hail Thee