I first became involved with Camp America in 2003. I headed over for my very first summer as a Counselor at Camp Crosley YMCA in Indiana. There I met amazing people whom I a, still in contact with today, I became a leader, and tried activities I had never done before. I went home a different person.
Back at home I always knew I'd return to camp and after talking to people ongoing about my camp experience for the next 4 years, I returned to camp for what was going to be my last summer. There I met some extremely close friends, became a lifeguard and had the time of my life changing campers lives watching them grow. Half way through the summer I knew I was going to return the following year.
Once I returned home I looked into becoming an interviewer for Camp America so I could continue to share my experience with others. I interviewed applicants who Los came to my camp. 2008 I was back at camp and seeing the campers again after they have grown over the past year is a magical experience. I worked on my leadership skills once again and continued to make close friends.
This experience is something I continue to talk all about, there's always something that reminds me of camp. Not only have I given to camp over the last 10 years, it is a place I can call home. The kids are amazing, the staff are life long friends and to take this experience away from future participants of such a unique cultural exchange program would be devastating.
The campers love international staff. They get so much out of learning about other cultures. It's a camp culture having international staff. There are no negatives to this exchange program it's all positives for everyone, so would be horrible to take an American tradition away from camps. Expecting our first child and I would love that one day they were to participate in Camp America and head off to experience what both myself and husband have experienced. Don't take this away.