Counselor Blogs – Bingo

Howdy! My name is Ashley Buchly, but most people with Camp Kesem call me Bingo :) I am currently a Senior Interdisciplinary Studies major at Texas A&M, and I would like to share with you my story on how Camp Kesem has affected my life.

At the beginning of 2012, I received a general, campus-wide e-mail from Camp Kesem asking students to apply to be a camp counselor. I had absolutely no idea what Camp Kesem was about or what their goal was. I had gone through A&M being a member of many different organizations; however, I never found the organization to which I felt I belonged to. I felt a very strong calling to find out more about Camp Kesem and to apply to be a counselor. I did my research and even attended their 5K on a very chilly February morning. The down-to-earth people and positive energy I experienced made me want to join even more! By the grace of God, I was chosen as a camp counselor for the 2012 summer camp. I was ecstatic!! I couldn’t wait to jump feet first into everything that Camp Kesem embodied.

Fast forward through many counselor trainings, dinners, inside jokes, conversations, a retreat, and so much laughter throughout the spring semester and summer…camp was finally here! I cannot explain how nervous and excited I was at the same time. Being an inexperienced counselor with Camp Kesem, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I only could rely on the stories and experiences of my fellow veteran counselors. The first thing I realized when those kids made it to camp was that it was going to be one of the most rewarding weeks of my life. I do not know how I can put into words what I experienced that week for all of you. I met children who are some of the bravest people I have ever met in my life. My ultimate goal was to let the kids “take it easy” the whole week. They deal with enough stress and worry at home, so why not let them just be a kid for 6 days?

We had such a fun week in Rosebud, Texas. I think one of my favorite things would have to be the blob at the lake and watching so many people get blobbed off of it! I have some pretty awesome videos if anyone ever needs a pick me up :) The dance parties that our “Grellow” girls had in our cabin every night were so funny, and those girls touched my heart in a way that no one else ever has!

Camp Kesem is truly a blessing to me. It has made me become much more humble and thankful for everything and everyone that I have in my life. I cannot even fathom having a sick parent or losing one at age 21, so to those 5-15 year olds that are living their life day to day and still finding something to smile about: you blew me away. It was an absolute honor to meet every single one of you. Kesem means “magic”, and that is truly what we all experienced that week far away from the hustle of every day life. Those children carry with them something magical, and I can think of no better way to honor them, than to give them a week to simply be a kid.

God bless you and your family,

BINGO :)

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