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Counselor Perspective: Belle

Most would think that one week out of a lifetime wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but add in Camp Kesem and that week becomes a part of your life forever.  Unforgettable moments can be as simple as a hug from a camper to the emotional roller coaster of the empowerment ceremony.   Every moment is stored away in your mind to come out when you least expect it.  Sometimes you will be walking through campus and all of a sudden you have the urge to yell “HAAAAAAALLELUJAH,” “LIKE A BANNNNAAAANA” or “WE ARE GOING TO SIESTAAAAAAA!” Or when a teacher says “I have an announcement,” you instantly jump out of your seat to realize that 300 people are now staring at you… These memories and the people that helped create them become what you crave in the year between one camp to the next.

One of my favorite memories at camp came about halfway through the week during free time before dinner. Everyone was playing a variety of sports both inside and out and it was slightly chaotic. My unit leader and I walked into the gym to find our minions for probably the hundredth time and make sure they were all accounted for. We looked to the stage and found two of our most active campers sprawled out on the stage. At first we were both a bit concerned because these two in particular never sat down…EVER. Genuinely worried, we sat next to them and asked if they were feeling ok. The response was one I never thought I would hear coming from 2 young boys. Covered in dirt, sweat and who knows what else, they replied that they were so tired that they just wanted to lay there. Um what? We looked at each other and instantly our faces broke out into a smile. You see, that is exactly what Camp Kesem is for: playing, running and having fun to your hearts content.  Forgetting the worries of cancer for just one week is what we set out to accomplish for these kids and seeing that in action was such a heartwarming experience.  It’s these simple little moments with campers that truly make the magic of Camp Kesem shine through.