This excerpt is taken from Suze’s blog post, “Things That Summer Camp Taught Me.” Suze enjoyed her first year at Greenwood Trails this past summer. She is currently a Media Studies Digital Arts major at St. Michael’s College in Vermont. Suze is also a valued member of her school’s rugby team, which is undefeated and currently competing in the national playoffs. Go Suze!!
…Everyday I miss camp more and more. I can’t talk about it enough- the laughs, the friends, the memories. It was the hardest, most tiring job I have ever worked but the best three months of my life. Working at camp has also taught me a ton of stuff. Yes, there are the trivial facts, but then there are the things that I now carry with me for the rest of my college career and the life ahead of me. Here are some of the things that I have learned.
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Yes, self explanatory, I know. But it is crazy how quickly most people seem to forget this. It is one thing that I pushed to my kids at camp and it made a huge impact. I took the time to thrust the importance of manners and being courteous on my kids. It is one thing that is so simple but yet can get you so far in life. Professors, bosses and possible friends look for people who are nice and who have manners. It is something that will follow you for the rest of your life.
“Being goofy is seriously underrated.” Seriously. I mean, let’s be honest, how many times do you get the opportunity to dress up as the opposite sex, MC a talent show, dress up as a character from Harry Potter or celebrate Halloween in the middle of August? If your answer was never, well then, become goofier! Summer camp taught me that it is ok to unleash the crazy. It is totally normal to step out of your comfort zone and become something that you never imagined. We get so wrapped up in how others perceive us now a days that sometimes we just have to wear crazy high socks and paint our faces to step away from everything.
“Help out for the communal good.” I will be the first person to admit that I hate cleaning. Like really REALLY hate it. At camp this summer, we had chores everyday and I will also admit that I was right there moaning with the kids that we had to do them. Both my kids and I learned quickly that the more we work together, the faster the chores get done. If you finish your chore before the person sweeping, offer them an extra hand. When we help each other out, things get done so much faster and that allows for extra time for other things that we may find more enjoyable. This can be a great tool in a school setting as well as an office setting. There is always that saying that “two heads are better than one”, I guess in this case we can modify it a little to say that “four hands are better than two.”
“Money doesn’t always equal happiness.” No, I did not get paid all that much this summer. No summer camp counselor gets paid a ton, that is to be expected. I suppose the point of it all is that the joy of the job does not come from the money that you make from it. The smiles you get from campers and the friendships you make with other counselors are priceless and will most likely last longer than the money awarded to you in your paycheck. I guess the take away from it all is that later in life when I actually have to grow up and become a functioning member of “adult” society, that the job that I will have will make me happy no matter the sum of money that I am making. I can only hope that a job that I possess one day gives me as much joy as this job has brought me.
“Be enthusiastic about everything.” One of the best memories I have from this summer is from a campfire that me and a few other counselors had to run. I can honestly say that I have never been that enthusiastic about an event in my life. I have never been so happy about ITS P-A-R-T-Y ITS PARTY TIME AND YOU KNOW WHY in my entire life. Being enthusiastic is one of the best things a person can possess. It makes people around you get excited about a situation even if that situation isn’t ideal. You should always be enthusiastic in everything you do.
I suppose those are some of my “take aways” from camp.