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Erik - Humans of Camp America


I have a lot of memories from camp, mostly just good memories! Being a counsellor is more then just being there, clocking in and out. You are actually becoming a very important part of the children's life's! Believe me when I say it, they will remember you for a very long time! The reason why I know this is the fact that I had a very special moment at camp. I had a 12 year old kid in my cabin, he was extremely shy and really didn't want to be all! He didn't want to be a part of the activities so I felt a bit sorry for the little guy! So I tried everything I could to get him to participate and after a couple of days he was a completely different kid. Going from the shy kid to the center of attention. It was a great week for both me and him but at the end of the week it was time to say our goodbyes. During the days at our camp, when campers would be able to buy stuff from the store here at camp with money the parents deposit in their name. They sold snacks, towels, necklaces, drinks and other handy stuff. But what I didn't know was that my life was about to change. That shy kid that I met a week earlier and didn't want anything to do with camp, grabbed me to say goodbye. His mother was standing in the cabin with us when he opened his mouth to say this, "Thank you so much for making my week so great, I had so much fun with you and I will really miss being here. I am going to ask my mom I can come again and I dont want any other counsellor when I come back". Then he takes out his necklace that he kept under the shirt and reached in his pocket and said, "I went to the store today and I had some money left so I got my self a necklace and I got one for you as well." I was lost for words. The kid left with his mother and did not come the camp again that summer. But I can tell you this, I was not expecting that from a kid. This showed me that I was maybe doing something right! 

Anyway, this experience is honestly not just about the kids. You will also have co-counsellors. At our camp we had about 80 counsellors, from about 20 countries and its really remarkable that everyone actually gets along. I have plenty of good friends all over the world from camp for  example, Australia, Hungary, England, Scotland, Ireland, America and South Africa. After camp it can be a little bit tricky to get to see those people you worked with every day for 12-14 weeks at camp. But somehow, even after 3-4 years, it will always be natural to meet these guys, I was not much of a traveller before camp but it really made me realise that its not that expensive to travel when you know people all around the world. It really connects you with people on a whole another level. After camp I have travelled to meet a few of my friends from camp, even attended a wedding in Australia, went to Africa with a dear friend of mine from camp and been to Scotland and England I dont know how many times! 

Do yourself a favour, grab the chance you have and go to camp! You will never in your life regret it. What you might do is regret that you didn't go! 

Thank you for reading about my experience and I hope it motivated you a little bit to go ahead with that application.

Erik - (YMCA Camp Letts - 2012)