A recent group message with some dear friends from college included talks about summer camp. This sparked some thoughts of my own summer camp. As the day I report for staff training rapidly approaches, the excitement builds as I get ready to head back to my favorite place in the entire world. Camp Zaccheaus, a two week Catholic summer camp ran by my diocese, is going to be here before I know it. After four years as a camper, and three, going on four years of staff, there's a million reasons I love camp, but here's just a few.
As previously stated, I have spent seven summers at this camp. I couldn't imagine spending summer anywhere else but at this camp. I always get excited when paperwork comes because that means that camp is only a few short months away. I love this camp with every fiber of my being. This camp is a major part of my life and has helped form me into the person I am today. It has formed me into a leader and someone who is not afraid to share her faith with others. I often talk about experiences I've had at Camp Z with friends at college. They're often able to tell how much I love camp based on how excited I get while talking about it.
Over the years, this camp has become my home away from home. There's nothing like turning through the gates and slowly driving up to main camp to begin the week. There's no place I would rather be. The beauty of being surrounded by trees with trails heading off in various directions. There's a trail that I know by heart that leads to a place called Luther's League, an old Lutheran chapel nestled in the woods. It has one of best views in all of camp, in my opinion, of the horizon. Not to mention being away from main camp makes it so peaceful and tranquil. I feel so free at camp, though I'm not sure why.
I love Camp Z because it is more that a normal summer camp. Being a Catholic summer camp, in addition to normal camp activities, there's activities based on faith. Some of my favorites include prayer by the pool for nightly devotion and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I would dare to say that Camp Z has been what has helped me really grow in faith over the past years and made me into the woman of faith that I am today. I don't think I would be leading retreats in college if camp hadn't gotten me used to sharing my faith. In addition, without camp helping increase my faith, I probably wouldn't have chosen Saint Vincent. I am so blessed to be able to share my faith with my campers and help them grow in their faith and hopefully, give them a great camp experience like I had growing up.
Lastly, the years spent at camp have given me wonderful memories that will be cherished for the rest of my life. I made memories like ziplining and dissecting owl pellets, to praying night prayer by the pool. I'll never forget being on my first year on staff and misplacing my phone in my bag and thinking I lost it, and subsequently running in the rain to see if I can find it. A big part of all the happy memories of camp are because of the wonderful people I have met through it. From hilarious campfire skits, to loud games of Spoons late Saturday night, to scream-singing "Shine Jesus Shine", I have shared many laughs with over the years. The people on Camp Z staff are a second family to me and are very near and dear to my heart. There's no one else on earth I would rather spend two weeks with.
These four short reasons are just the basic summary of the million reasons I have such a love for Camp Zacchaeus. I'm very lucky to have this opportunity in my life. The next weeks will fly by as I get ready to go to camp for two weeks. I can't wait for this summer and the summers to come. Here's to Camp Z 2017!