About a week ago camp officially ended. Our cabin was cleaned out, my car was packed, and goodbyes were said. I flew from camp down here to Atlanta where I've been hiding out and catching up on sleep at my parent's house ever since. It was the perfect opportunity to come home for a visit with my friends and family. But coming back to the real world is always a bit of adjustment. Getting used to cell phones, running errands and all the other day to day stuff is a bit of a shock. But the real shocker is always the questions people have about camp life. Foolishly, I assume that after working like this for the past 10 summers my friends and family would have some idea of how my summers are spent. I'm always amazed at how little people know about the camping world. It's just so natural and normal to me I assume it is to everyone else as well.
The camp I work at is a regular, over night camp for kids. We have no religious affiliation, no sports focus or any other specialty. We're just a good ole fashioned fun sort of place -- the exact place you think of when you think of summer camp. We have plenty of counselors that are your typical college kids out to have the summer of their life, and they do. I spent two amazing summers as a counselor back in college and would gladly give my left arm to go back to those days.
These days camp is a little bit different for me. You see, someone has to manage and organize all those campers and counselors. That's where the management side of things comes into play. So while a lot of counselors grow up and move on to jobs that require them year round some of us grow up to become teachers, allowing us to keep coming back to camp. At this point we've outgrown the counselor job but there is still plenty of work to do at camp, even for us old farts. It's a win-win. We get to keep coming to camp and earning a little cash and camp retains some it's experienced counselors to help keep the place running smoothly.
Why do we give up normal life to work at camp after all these years? I don't know. Maybe because we love it, maybe because deep down we're a little crazy. Maybe because we love working with the kids and mentoring the counselors. I don't know. There are a million different reasons.
What I can tell you is that we are all just as close with our camp friends as we are with our real life friends. Sounds weird, but its a true story.
Much to everyone's shock, we're just normal people. With normal jobs and normal lives.
I promise that we all fix our hair everyday and wear normal clothes when we're at home and at work. It's just at camp these things aren't important. At camp the goofier and crazier you are, the better off you are.
So what do we do at camp? All kinds of thing. Jobs you wouldn't even think needed doing. Jobs that I would love to explain but I wouldn't be able to do it justice. I'd have to use camp lingo to sufficiently explain it and then you'd just get confused. Let's just say that we do a lot - from directing plays, to organizing sail boat races, writing cheers, inventing games, creating craft projects and making sure the lactose intolerant kids get a popsicle instead of ice cream. But most importantly, we make sure the campers are happy and the counselors are working well together.
I get it. Camp isn't for everyone. I understand that not everyone wants to live in a cabin, regardless of how nice it is. Not everyone wants to eat camp food. Certainly not everyone wants to be surrounded by 400 campers and 200 counselors all the time. But once you look past those details you find that its a pretty amazing place. (Break out the crackers, it's about to get cheesy.) We're the kind of people that like to be outside, like to dance, like to get creative, like to work with kids and like to be active. Not one single person at that camp is capable of sitting still for more than 30 seconds. It's just not in our nature. It's pretty fantastic to be surrounded by adventurous, creative and fun people all summer. There is nothing better.
If it wasn't so awesome than how on Earth would I be able to get all these nice looking people to act like this...
Seriously, don't they look like fun? Don't worry, they are.