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"Camp Horizons – The hardest job you will ever love” by Megan Keppie

22.08.16

Working at Camp Horizons has been hard, it has tested my patience and it has at times completely drained me of all energy. However, I can safely say this has been the best summer of my life and I am 100% thinking to come back again!

A few people might find the concept of this difficult to understand but I will never forget the stories and memories I’ve made, which will only ever make sense to those who have worked here. Those moments where a camper who never stayed in the pool more than 10 minutes stays in for the whole session with a smile on their face; or when a camper tells you your beautiful when you know you just rolled out of bed and haven’t looked in a mirror; or when you’ve heard some bad news from home and your camper just seems to sense that you need a hug. These small moments, during a hard day or after dealing with a difficult situation, melt your heart and remind you why you love this job more than anything.

I’ll also never forget the friends I’ve made. I’m not ready to leave this crazy family I’ve so quickly become a part of. The friend that hands you a piece of chocolate when you get on break because they know, without asking, that you’ve had a rough day; or the friends who you feel like you should have known your whole life but have only known for less than 3 months; or the co-counsellor who understands when you need a break even when you don’t want to admit it. Unbreakable bonds that you will have for the rest of your life.

Working at a summer camp is amazing, but working at a summer camp for adults and children with additional support needs will change your life. The trust, love and affection you receive locks into your heart forever more. The amazing memories you make as the relationships you form with your campers grow and develop into something beautiful.

Working 14 hour days with only a one hour break at 9pm (at the earliest) would be off-putting for so many people. These hours fly by with chasing after campers; delighting in their achievements; and supporting them if they are having a difficult time. There are moments that make you feel like you can’t do it anymore, but one small hug or gesture of kindness makes it all worth it.

As much as I am excited to start my travels around America and then on to South America, I know for a fact that Saturday will be one of the hardest days of my life. I’m not ready to say my final goodbyes to my last group of campers, and leaving the friends I’ve made will be completely devastating. I know for a fact there will be tears, happy and sad, as we reflect over a life changing 10 weeks!

-Megan