It’s been two months since we ended our inaugural year of Camp Kesem. Yesterday was our Fall Camper-Family Reunion, and it was a smashing success. We did miss all the campers and families who couldn’t make it, but we painted pumpkins in your absence and wish you well. We can’t wait to see you all next summer. Which brings me back to why I’m writing this post: we are in the swing of things recruiting new campers, choosing a new camp site, and spreading the magic of Kesem even further on campus.
But none of us could do this work for Camp Kesem if we didn’t have the support of our friends and families. Being a college student is no little task, it’s stressful, scary, and elating–often simultaneously. When you add in working crazy hours to make magic a reality for one week a year, sometimes it feels like too much. After our reunion I started remembering why it is entirely worth the sleepless nights, or the early morning phone calls to ensure that these superheroes have us again next summer. And I remembered why it is so valuable to have family and friends who support you through times of crazy stress and crazy elation that you have watched 24 kids become Kesem campers. Having a support network at home is easy for me to overlook, but without roommates and close friends I would never get to vent, never get to have a frustrated cry, and never have someone to make me laugh–even when I’m reluctant to do so. Spending the day yesterday with some of our campers and their families made me realize that we are so lucky to have the people outside of Kesem in our lives as well as the people we work with at Kesem. I know that all of our staff feels that they learned more from their campers than they could have possibly taught to them. But I hope that your camper feels that we are you support inside and outside of camp.
Today is the anniversary of my friend’s passing, it’s been many years now, but I think that her lesson to me has become more and more valuable as I have grown up and matured. We are all only in each other’s lives for a while, and we need to be grateful for the opportunities we have to impact each other. We hope that your campers continue to impact our program and our staff in ways more profound that we can imagine. Finally, though, I am grateful for all the work the Kesem staff does, the support and vibrancy the campers and their families bring, and grateful above all else for the people around me who make the world a little more magical.