“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
I’ve heard that cliche more times than I’d like to count in my life. Frankly, it gets tiresome. That being said, it’s pretty spot on. After all, where else did I look for something to do during the summer while I wasn’t fully employed anymore? I went back to the same place I’ve worked all those summers before. It wasn’t like I was looking for anything special or fulfilling, but I went back to a safe and well-known place. Basically, as I began to venture on something new, I found myself back where it all began…at summer camp!
I sit here and realize that I won’t be at camp in twelve hours’ time like I have every Monday for the last two months. It’s a bittersweet emotion, knowing that sleeping in and resting is only because this glorious summer is over. I’ve loved it more than ever before. Everyone remembers my previous posts about being a role model and the emergency situation, but I don’t think it really clicked in those posts how much I’ve grown to love this job. I used to think of it as just this easy job that was a simple paycheck. I don’t know what moment turned that into actually caring about it, but I can say that this whole summer has been like that. I actually want to come in and be a good role model for these kids, which is more than what some can say for their attitude here.
There is something special about camp. Anyone who has ever worked at a summer camp for more than one summer can attest to that. You watch these kids grow up, and it’s unbelievable what you feel. This was my fourth summer working there in seven years. The group that I’ve known from the beginning…they’ve grown so much. Meanwhile, I feel a little adrift, but I realize, this is all a part of the plan. I chased my dreams, and I will continue to do so.
These kids. These people. God, it’s so much. I’ve never been as happy with a summer at camp like this one. Bright Eyes continually asked me how I was going to be as the summer got close, and I don’t think I knew that she saw how happy I was. Last Friday was killer. I teared up a little bit. One of my favorites begged me to come to her soccer games, and I knew that everything I was thinking about in terms of being a role model was actually true. When you spend so much time with someone in their formative years, they’re bound to look up to you. It puts your life in perspective. On the flip side, those same people can rub off on you too. They’ve kept me young and probably not as mature as I should be at nearly 25, but I won’t be upset over that. I’ve been told I’ve got a good sense of humor, and I definitely know part of that is due to camp.
I went to dinner with some of my oldest friends at camp after that final day, and I have to say, it was perfect, if not incredibly emotional for me inside. I knew that I would see them throughout the year, because – for the first time – I realized that camp was just a part of my family. Most of you realize I’ve had an interesting ride with my family as of late, and I think I forgot that there were people who were just as much my family that I kept forgetting about. I might be the oldest, and the one who is supposed to set an example…but that doesn’t mean we don’t all care about each other. I’ll tell you, it’s been one incredible summer.
It’s a peaceful lake, where I work. So much of my life has been thought about and talked about near these waters. It’s funny to think that I only ever applied for a job that was an easy check…when it would become such a major part of me. There’s something about this place. It’s a sanctuary for me, much like the soccer pitch. I hate that it took all these years to figure it out, but now, as I impatiently wait 300 days for next summer, I’ve never been so excited for summer camp. It rejuvenated my soul in a way I never saw coming…another paradigm shift.
What a summer :)