So camp has ended….I almost can’t believe it. I feel out of practice writing anything but here goes nothing!
//Tattoos. Don’t worry, not real tattoos. I haven’t given up my dream of illustrating kids books to tattoo people. One night while we were waiting to start a rec game with the kids, I pulled out my sharpie and sketched a snake/dragon creature on my arm from a logo on a fellow SMT’s pants. I’m weird, I know. A few people saw it and complimented my “tattoo” (some guy with real tattoos got really excited) and asked me to draw something on them. I spent the next few weeks drawing on people with sharpies! Fun stuff.
//Rec. I loved it. Even in the 100+ heat and 84% humidity, it was so much fun: chatting with the kids, playing around with other SMT, and always feeling like I did something productive at the end of the day.
//Spending time with kids. Working here, I realized how much I enjoy hanging out with elementary aged kids. I love talking them into doing something they are scared off (like jumping off the water zip line). When they finally do it, it’s a wonderful feeling!
//Tan. Because I’m super white, getting a semi-good tan was a lot of fun…even if it involves an awful sock tan. 😉
//Getting to know the SMT. There were 55 summer staff members and because we were around each other every day for 70+ days, we all got really close. Instead of bonding with one or two friends, everyone hung out with everyone which was fantastic!!
//The Mud Pit. Every camp, we’d host relay games in a HUGE pit of mud. Most of the time it was at night, which was even more fun since you could go home, shower, and be done for the day. But, gUyS. It was a GIANT MUD PIT. How could it not be fun??
//Growing spiritually. I have never been to another place like this. I’m not really sure how else to describe it! We had daily devotionals, weekly chapels, and constant encouragement and prayer before, during, and after recreation. Several times during the summer, the camp hosted baptisms in our pool where dozens of campers accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It is seriously the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen!!
//Homesickness. I’ll be honest, the first couple weeks were tough. I didn’t want to get to know anyone or hang out. And being assigned to the kitchen those first weeks didn’t help either – 14 hour work days and barely any time to call home. But afterwards, I started to make some friends and I was put on rec games. I called home and visited when I could. Fast forward to the end of summer and it was all I could do to not bawl my eyes out when I had to leave!
//No alone time. I actually appreciate this now. It forced me to be more social *introvert inside me screams* and spending time with SMT outside of work was awesome.
//Personalities. With 55 summer staff and about a dozen full time staff, of course there were personalities that clashed. But by the end, we all managed not to strangle each-other 🙂 Ahh I miss this already.
//How to live with roommates. I had two roommates (and a couple weeks with three) and learning to live with other people before college was great practice.
What I learned in the end
//To think more. Since we weren’t allowed to use our phones very often, we sadly couldn’t use them to keep us occupied during breaks. *groans* I hated it at first but after a while I learned how to think more. While sitting outside during breaks with whatever quiet time I could get, I thought about a lot of things. Lots. College, birthdays, classes, people, and just life in general. Sounds silly but I’m usually a very spontaneous person, so thinking things through was interesting. Haha.
After all this thinking was over with, I’d sit and color from a 19-year-old’s coloring book. We’re so mature.
//To be productive and to take initiative. After coming home, I couldn’t just sit still. After working every day for all of summer, I felt very lazy if I didn’t have anything to do for more than an hour. And I also couldn’t sleep past 7:15 am. Which I hate and love at the same time.
//Confidence. Even Seth and my family noticed that I was more confident when I saw them on my days off and after summer was over. Having to talk in front of a group of 25+ kids and their leaders will do that to you!