Special thanks to Allison Lee, an archery counselor at Camp Chinqueka, for submitting our last counselor story of the year! Have a great fall — summer will be here again soon!
I don't even know how to narrow my summer down to one favorite memory. There are just too many! Having recently just worked at camp for my second year, I know 100 percent it will not be my last. As soon as I walked back into camp for the second time, I knew was back at home, my real home, a place where I feel completely comfortable to be myself and let go of all the stress and worries that comes with real life.
This year, the whole staff waited in anticipation for two weeks before the bright, happy, and excited campers came running through our gates. Honestly, the feeling is indescribable. I still get goosebumps now when I think about it. It felt as if the previous nine months back at home didn't exist and as if I’d never left camp!
There were campfires weekly where we would dress up as crazy as possible. The evening activities ranged from a talent show one night to running around camp trying to collect gold for your tribe the next! Oh, and you can't forget the socials with the boys. I will always remember the time when the social was postponed for a few days due to bad weather and I literally had a couple of girls in my cabin in tears!
One of my favorite things at camp is something called candlelight. This has been a tradition for over fifty years, and it’s one of the most beautiful things you could ever witness. The senior girls spend their mornings and afternoons practicing a synchronized swimming routine to perform in front of the entire camp. When the time is right and the sun has gone down for the day on the last Friday of session two, all the lights are turned off on camp and everyone makes their way down to the waterfront in complete silence. The girls start their routine, and all you can see are their hands holding a candle up in the air, moving gracefully in the water. It is a very emotional night, and you can be nothing but proud of the girls for all the hard work that they put into it.
But it seems as soon as camp starts, it’s time for it to come to an end for another year. After what feels like thousands of hugs and tears shed, all the campers are gone and the camp is empty again. All you are left with are the most amazing memories and friendships of another fabulous summer and the excitement of another summer at camp next year.
I've put my life at home in Sydney, Australia on hold two years in a row, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. At camp you meet the most amazing kids that really do change your life. They are some of the most amazing people you will ever meet — and so are the other counselors. At camp, I got to meet people from all over the world, and even though we only worked together for ten weeks, the friendships we made will last forever!