Counselor Blogs – “You can get through just about everything as long as you focus on the love that your friends and family give you…”

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 Mary Hampton “Taco” Farr, who served as a counselor at camp this year and is currently serving on our executive board as a camper care coordinator. 

When Camp Kesem was a safe, long distance away, I was bouncing off the walls with excitement.  But in the weeks approaching camp this summer, I became legitimately terrified of camp.  I realized I had no idea what I what I had gotten myself into.  Having never been a counselor before, I was scared of jumping around, actin’ a fool with other college students and lots of kids who would be looking up to me.  (In retrospect, this seems so ridiculous because I am such a ridiculous person and thus fell quite easily into the role of acting ridiculous for a week.)

I was so nervous right up until the campers got to the camp, but upon meeting them for the first time I knew that I was going to give everything I had to make their weeks incredible and memorable.  Camp Kesem was wonderful in the way that it brought campers and counselors alike out of their comfort zones.  We had to “jump and shake our booties”, trust each other, and tell our stories to people we had just met.  All of this led to the counselors forming strong bonds with each other and most importantly, the campers.

I have never grown to love so many people in such a short period of time.  Every day that we were at camp, some counselor would surprise me with her handling of a situation, or some camper would amaze me with his stories of strength and love.  Being around these young kids with burdens far bigger than anything I’ve ever had to deal with put the small things into perspective for me.   Seeing our campers have such positive, upbeat attitudes made me realize that you can get through just about everything as long as you focus on the love that your friends and family give you.

I can’t wait to continue coming to camp and see how we will grow over the next few years!  This year was so amazing that I can’t really imagine anything better but I have faith that our executive board will keep finding ways to improve.  Camp was the most magical time of the year, like my birthday, fourth of July, Halloween and Christmas all rolled into one fantastical, crazy week.  I will never be able to get camp off my mind.  I’m determined to find a way so that I can stay in school longer and go to Camp Kesem till I’m at least 40.  I think even at that age I will still be able to go on Karl Kesem rescue missions, creek stomp, and get pied in the face.

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