I always get a lot of personal growth at camp, and it’s really cool to look back to see how different I’ve become. When I was little I was not very confident at all. Now that I’m a CIT, I can get up on stage, and I even do the school plays. I know I never, ever would have been able to do that without camp. Everyone’s there supporting you and they want you to succeed.
Last year I didn’t want to leave camp. I love how crazy the counselors are and that there are lots of fun activities. When I got home, I asked my mom what we were doing for our evening activity and she was like, what do you mean?! Our evening activity is dinner! I look forward to camp all year long and love spending my summer at such an amazing place!
The campers grow up a lot. They might be nervous or shy at the beginning, but they start to reach out and stop missing home. They get brave – they bend more and they push themselves. I had a boy in my cabin who had never swam before and he was making excuses to not go in the lake. We worked with him and he eventually got into the lake and loved it. He was so happy that we encouraged him to try it.
I saw a lot of campers come out of their shell. Kids that were initially really shy and didn’t speak up were totally participating by the end of camp. Everyone finds their niche at camp and seems to really enjoy themselves. When we reached the end of a session, the quiet ones are not only participating, they’re singing camp songs and doing activities with their friends and being loud and enthusiastic.
Camp has been a great fit for both my kids for different reasons. We live in a world with so many pressures be they social, academic or athletic. All of those pressures fall away when they get to camp. I wish their whole year could be more like the summer at Greenwood Trails. When I drop them off they can’t get rid of me fast enough, not because they don’t love me but because they can be their best camp selves. They say it’s the highlight of their year!
Camp fosters being a good, responsible kid and having empathy towards others. It’s something that all of my kids walk away with. It also helps them with decision making skills – when they’re home they can always turn to Mom and Dad and ask what they should do. At camp they have to begin to make decisions on their own.
It’s about the community here. It’s a very warm and caring place, and they promote the values that we want. It’s the right size, not too big, not too small. When they come home, both kids are more independent and they make their beds every day. Our son packed for himself this year and insists on doing more things on his own. What they do here really reinforces becoming more independent.