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home : readerswrite : readerswrite February 5, 2016

Camp: Why I kept going back
" There has been nothing greater than seeing the spark in children's eyes."
- Medora Kea

by Medora Kea

My head was reeling as I made my way up the aisle of the bus, frantically searching for a place to sit. As I stumbled through the rows of rowdy kids, my fifth-grade self started to panic. I couldn't see any open spots and I could have sworn I looked like an idiot. I was that one kid who didn't know a single person on the bus. This is humiliating, I thought. I'm never coming back to camp. Ever.

So much for the whole never-ever-coming-back thing. Over the years, camp became like a second home to me. As I reflect upon what is soon to be my last summer as a counselor, a few things come to mind about why camp has been such an integral part of my life.

As a camper, that one week of camp was what I looked forward to the most out of the entire summer. That week of fun and games gave kids the opportunity to learn how to interact and communicate with other people in effective ways, have real-life role models to look up to, have the chance to branch out and try something new, and, hopefully, to learn something more about themselves in the process.

As a counselor, I have the privilege of providing these opportunities. For some kids, that week is the only thing they have to look forward to in a summer. There has been nothing greater than seeing the spark in children's eyes as they find their rhythm while canoeing for the first time or when they show off a swing dance routine they created by themselves.

This spark is precisely what camp is all about.

Medora Kea is a camp counselor at Bay Lake 4-H Camp, located on an island in northern Minnesota. She is from St. Paul and is studying communication and art at Lake Forest College in Illinois.


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