By Frederikke Haure-Petersen
I applied to Camp America because I aspire to become a psychologist for children and I figured what better way to gain experience than working with children for a whole summer. I arrived in Iowa expecting that I would return home in six weeks without wanting to come back the following summer. I could not have been more wrong.
There are no words that can properly explain what camp means to me. It’s a crazy experience which I fell in love with as soon as I set foot on camp. Before I landed I was apprehensive that I had made the wrong choice as I would be arriving halfway through the summer and all the other camp counsellors would already have made friends and I was worried I would be an outsider. There was no need for my worries though because as soon as I set foot on camp a guy my age came bounding up to me arms outstretched introduced himself as Kelso and then ran screaming off his arms flailing in the air. Shortly thereafter another boy ran up to me and said: “Hi I’m Bill. I have a beard.” In those few moments all my fears about camp vanished and I knew I had picked the right place to spend my summer.
After my first week at camp I was exhausted, I was running on little sleep I was sunburned and bug bitten but I was the happiest I have ever been in my life. Not only had I laughed and cried throughout the week- especially when it was time to say goodbye to my campers- I had found my new home. During my first Honour Point, the ceremony where we say goodbye to our campers for the week, my boss Dave hugged me and told me that he was so lucky to have found me. Of all the compliments I have received throughout my life this one hit me the hardest. I had found a place where I was needed and I was able to make a difference in children’s lives.
When people ask me about camp I want to burst into song because whenever I think about camp I am reminded of all our camp songs and dances. To this day I wake up in the middle of the night with songs about a moose drinking juice stuck in my head. Y-Camp has taught me so many things and it has given me the opportunity to try archery, riflery and go canoeing down the Des Moines River. I have been pushed to my breaking point, made some truly wonderful friends but most importantly of all I have found a new family. I can’t wait to go back next summer.
Click HERE for more info on Camp America opportunities this summer.