February 4, 2013
“It’s a Camp Thing”
In light of this week’s new additions to our CK family (YAY and congrats again to new counselors; we’re so excited to have you), I’ve been thinking a lot about what Camp Kesem as a community of counselors has meant to me since I first started a year ago.
I will openly admit that during my first Kesem meeting, the returning members genuinely freaked me out. I was not only a freshman, but also a freshman that was never a counselor, a camper or in any way involved in stay-away camps of any kind. So, walking into a room full of hyped up people yelling and waving their arms about toast was totally out of my element. Granted, I was used to things like this; “It’s a camp thing” was a tried and true phrase among my camp-going friends in grade school when I just couldn’t possibly understand what they meant. Granted, I never could figure out what that “thing” was, but I would nod my head and smile and go along with it. Full disclosure: I never liked the idea of stay-away camp very much as a kid.
So, despite all this—the shy freshman factor, the camp newbie element, the energy bordering on insanity, the “camp thing”—I kept coming back. The more I got myself involved, the more things clicked for me. Suddenly raps about toast were not only AWESOME, but 100 percent natural. After camp especially, I felt like I was finally in on the “camp thing” that everyone talked so much about in grade school. For me, the “thing,” boiled down the people. It wasn’t a secret handshake or an inside joke (though neither are out of the question) that second-grader me chalked it up to be, but the community. As counselors, we learned/vented/laughed/sang together. We loved our kids and we loved camp, and ultimately that created a group of people that I’m not sure I will be able to find anywhere else. Maybe ever.
For those that have been a part of this amazing community, thanks for everything. For those that are just starting, welcome to the family! It is ABSOLUTELY a camp thing, and I love it.