A Letter To My Campers

Five years ago I made the decision that I would no longer be a camp counselor at Camp Tanuga. Not because I no longer wanted to do that job, trust me I would work there year round if that was an option, but because I was hit by adulthood. So I guess the first lesson that I could teach you don’t let adulthood sneak up on you!

Enjoy the time you have now! Don’t miss out on opportunities, there is always a way, Find it!

That last summer I knew the whole time that it would be my last summer with you. I’ll be honest it was probably one of the best summers of my life. I will never forget the night that I told you I wouldn’t be coming back anymore to be your counselor. It was heartbreaking and uplifting to know that I had left such a strong impression on all of you that tears were flowing from everyone.

Things to remember this summer:

• Don’t be lazy CITs. You know the ones who sit in the back and don’t pay attention to anything. Be the campers that people can look up to.

• Win! In the summer of 09’ we won like…everything! If it was a competition y’all were never losers. Remember though you’re older be gracious don’t rub it in…unless it’s to the CIT girls.

• Lend a hand. There are always things to be done around camp and activity leaders will always welcome assistance. Do it for the right reason and not to get feathers.

• Make lasting memories. Keep track of things around you and don’t waste one moment.

• Say thank you! So many people do so many things for you and you probably won’t automatically notice. So remember to say those two words.

Although I wasn’t there for the later part of your camp journey I wanted to remind you of some things from way back when.

• Remember Jack’s night terrors. Probably the scariest thing ever for me being the only adult in the cabin at the time and him just screaming. How all of you remained asleep I’ll never understand.

• Remember that feeling when we won the mock rock. When you didn’t even have to do a dance off, because let’s face it dance offs were never your thing. That moment when they announced you as winners and you all rushed me with a group hug. (I was on my day off when this occurred, I just wanted to point out my dedication to your choreography)

• Remember when we played Survivor on the camp out? That was just a way of making sure I could get you to gather a pile of sticks large enough for our fire for three days. (Reed was voted out first every time, then Jake would quit because his friend was voted out.)

• Remember the one on one talks. Many nights after lights out when I would be on cabin watch one of you would sneak out to talk about things that you were feeling. You can still do that even though you’re grown but you’ll have to write me for my advice or get it to me through Robyn.

• Remember the bad counselors you had. Make sure you don’t use the example they set for you.

• Remember that time we told you the Lady of the Lake story and had one of the female counselors hide in the bathroom to scare you at the right moment. Make sure to always give your stories a little extra something.

• Remember to savor the goodbye. The last day of camp is brutal. Hugs and tears all around. I’ll never forget those moments because they’re so imprinted on my brain. Reed escaping the bus and running up to me to give me one last hug kills me every time I think about it.

• Remember that you’re already legends. I can’t tell you how many times former employees remind me how lucky I was to have you as campers and I agree.

In closing I want you to make sure this is the best summer of your lives. Look out for the kids younger than you because they’ll be you one day. Make sure you convince them to hire you when you’re ready to come back. And always remember that as your former counselor I’m always here for you.


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