On my very first day of working at camp, we went to Brown County State Park to eat pizza and get to know each other a little better. As we left, we got to watch this gorgeous sunset. I remember thinking as we left, “if the sunsets are always this beautiful, and the people are always this great, I’m going to really love being here.” Now, I’m finding myself at the sunset of my time working at camp, and I can say truthfully that the sunsets are dazzling and the people are even more so.
I have been thinking often about my impact on camp and vice versa. Truthfully, I don’t really know what my impact is on camp, and it probably isn’t really up for me to decide my impactfulness anyway. However, the things that have made an impact on me and helped shape the person that I am now could fill one hundred blog posts. Since I’ve only been allotted this one, it’s hard to know just what to say. So I came up with this self-prompt: if I literally absorbed the things I’ve been exposed to at camp, what would I be made of?
We can start with the tangible things: creek paint, sweat, lake water, creek water, dirt, mud, gravel, chocolate milk, dust, leaves, pollen, grass stains, face paint, sawdust, tie-dye dye, campfire ash, and chicken taco drippings. When we move into the intangible is when it gets a little harder to narrow it down. There’s the feeling I got the first time I heard someone say, “this is so cool!” There’s the feeling I get when I look in the passenger mirror of Gus the Bus and see all of the Adventure campers sleeping after a big day in the cave or on the water. There’s the feeling I get watching someone exceed their goal at high ropes. There’s the feeling of singing camp songs over and over until you sing them in your dreams. There’s the feeling of campers remembering you when you go on school visits or when they come back the next summer. There’s the feeling of being complimented on your Chaco tan. There’s the feeling of walking through the woods and hearing nothing but the birds and the breeze floating through the trees. There’s the feeling of worrying that this Jump Shake Your Booty is finally going to be the one that breaks the bench, sending all of you tumbling to the floor. There’s the feeling of watching relationships grow over a day, a weekend, a week. There’s the feeling of meeting thousands of new people and learning from all of them. There’s the feeling of watching the first wildflowers bloom on the forest floor in the spring. There’s the feeling of starting a lanyard on the first try. And there’s the feeling of singing Take Me Home, Country Roads on the last night of camp.
I think, out of all of that, if I’m even a little more faithful, fun, joyful, brave, humble, knowledgeable, compassionate, or generous than I was four years ago, then it probably has to do, at least a little bit, with being steeped in the amazing environment that is CYO Camp Rancho Framasa.
Thank you for everything,
Camp is such an unique experience! Our staff take turns sharing their perspectives of the experience that is CYO Camp Rancho Framasa!
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