Hey, Camp Fans!
We got more than 30 submissions for our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest here at Everything Summer Camp and we’re itching with anticipation to publish each one of them right here on the Blog to share with all our readers! There were seven lucky winners to our contest and everyone else who submitted received a $15 gift certificate to our website! Today’s post is from Catherine D., who wrote in to tell us about her third year at Gold Arrow Camp.
“What makes camp such an amazing place? Why is it the place that I call my second home and the highlight of my summer? These questions are ones that I have been asking myself ever since I started going to Gold Arrow Camp. Three summers ago, I was absolutely terrified to go to my first ever sleepaway camp. I stepped onto the camp bus early one Sunday morning, sobbing, and certain that I was going to have a terrible time and never want to go again. After two amazing weeks, I boarded the bus for the second time, sobbing again, but for a different reason. I didn’t want to leave. So, for all of the people reading this who wonder why sleepaway camps are so amazing and question if they should send their kids to camp, I am attempting to answer these questions in three parts.
lThe first amazing thing about my camp is the activities that I participated in. At home, a typical Saturday for me in the summer would be spent waking up very late in the morning, reading for most of the day, and maybe going swimming if I was feeling particularly adventurous. In contrast, at camp, a Saturday would be spent water-skiing in the morning, horseback riding in the afternoon, and zip-lining after dinner. We kayaked, paddle-boarded, canoed, wake-boarded, rock-climbed, did archery, riflery, arts and crafts, backpacked, and slept under the stars. I faced some of my biggest fears by doing activities such as zip-lining and the high ropes course, and discovered things about myself such as that I love sailing. Every single day brought something new to try, a new challenge, and a new adventure.
lSecondly, I want to talk about the atmosphere at camp. Although it may sound cliché, camp is the place that I feel I can most be myself. At school, I feel pressure to dress a certain way, look a certain way, and act a certain way. However, at camp, I embrace my inner child. In the mornings, we sing fun repeat-after-me songs, dance like no one is watching, and get ready for the day (a routine that does not include applying make up, and does include wearing clothes suitable for playing in the wilderness all day). At home, I also face so much stress around homework and tests, while at camp, I get more sleep than I do during the rest of the year and simply have fun every single day. Additionally, there is no “friend drama”. Almost as if there is some unspoken agreement, every person I have met at camp is genuinely nice, friendly, and supportive.
lThe last unbelievably wonderful thing about camp is the relationships that I make there. This year, I was in a cabin with nine other girls (whom I didn’t know) for two weeks, and I have never become closer with any other group of people in my entire life. There is something about spending every day for two weeks together that creates an immense bond between a group of people that can never be broken. Our cabin went to activities together, ate together, slept together, and backpacked together. We gave each other advice about friend issues at home, confessed our biggest fears, told each other our most embarrassing moments, shared our goals and supported each other to achieve them. In addition, all of this happened without the complication of phones or technology. When we were together, we had face to face interactions and really listened to each other, without checking our phones or texting others while we were talking. Yes, by the end of the two weeks I spent at camp I had gained nine sisters, and know that the friendship we made can never be broken.
lBecause of these three main reasons, camp will always have a special place in my heart, and I am counting down the days until I can board the bus once again!”
Thanks for such an organized and thoughtful submission, Catherine! It’s great to know that Gold Arrow Camp has been such a positive influence in your life. Camp certainly has a way of working its magic! Check out Gold Arrow Camp to see if it might be a good match for you. And, as always, thanks for reading!