September 10, 2012
Counselor Blogs – “I have never been a part of something that feels so much like family…”
This entry is part of a series in which each of our counselors reflects upon his or her unique experiences with Camp Kesem. Today’s entry is by Ben “Bear” Means, who served as a counselor at camp this year and is currently serving on our executive board as student support coordinator.
One day while I was just sitting at my home on my computer and I was invited to apply to become a Camp Kesem counselor. I really had no idea what Camp Kesem was and I had never been a camp counselor before, so I was a little skeptical. However, when I began to research what Camp Kesem was and found out how I could possibly be helping kids with parents who are currently or have been affected by cancer I started to give it more thought. The more and more I thought about it, I remembered when my mother had breast cancer and how terrible of a time that was for her and my family. So I told myself, “just go for it, you have nothing to lose.” And this was by far the greatest decision I have made in my life. I have never been a part of something that feels so much like family, outside of my own family.
In a four-day span, I made hundreds of memories that will last the rest of my life. From canoeing with Snake to our lovely messy Olympics, winning the water balloon toss with Turtle, seeing Frenchie playing the winking game, and Striker catching tons of toads… these are just some of the many memories I made at camp. However, the memory that stands out the most to me was how strong every one of these campers were. To see 6 to 13-year-olds, who have already matured in so much was awe-inspiring. It really makes you remember both how blessed you are and how awful cancer is.
What makes Camp Kesem such a great place is these kids are able to be kids again. To see the joy in all of their kids faces was one of the most heartwarming feelings I have ever had. Every time I talk about Camp Kesem or wear a Camp Kesem shirt on campus, I think of the best week of my life and can’t wait for next year’s camp.