I love camp.
I love moments on the dining hall porch, watching silently as the mist rises from a lake touched with the golden light of morning. I love deep, meaningful conversations with a new friend, watching lightning flash in a fiery pink cloud as fireflies rise from the soft grass.
I love leaping with total abandon across fields and stages in a sparkly pink tutu, and I love laughing at innocent, delightful things until my stomach hurts and tears roll down my cheeks.
Being here is being home, and while that doesn’t make much sense to many people outside the bubble, it’s the truth.
As I walk these roads named after values like kindness and courage, I remember that even though life is often hard and exhausting, life is also precious and sweet, and miracles happen every day. In the simplicity of camp I remember that God is good. I can reflect on the joy of serving the Lord and on the wholeness I find in Him.
I think that’s why I keep coming back.
I come back to camp because I find that I am the best version of myself here.
School life is crazy, hard, and exhausting, but when I come back to camp I feel like I can breathe again. Not to say I don’t work harder than maybe any other job, but there’s a peace and restoration in the type of work we do here. I get to step away from the drama and distraction and do work that is whole, good, and fruitful.
I find myself in quiet moments more quick to pray and bask in deep gratitude for the most simple yet profound blessings in life. I come back because I love my people, and I find that each summer deepens existing relationships, but also brings new ones.
These people see me at my best, but they also love me in my not-so-great moments; offering grace and encouragement.
I come back because the core of my being physically hurts if it’s been too long since I’ve walked the lower road or enjoyed a cup of tea on the dining hall porch.
I come back for opening day hugs from campers I’ve seen grow up over the past few years. I come back because I believe in camp, and I believe with my whole heart that it matters.
The lessons learned within these gates are profound and become intricately woven into the fabric of who we are, and I count it as a privilege to get to play even a small part in this special place that has impacted so many thousands of young women’s lives.
Every summer spent at camp is a precious gift, and my advice is to keep coming back for as long as you can.