Director’s Blog – August 8, 2015
I had many ideas for my last blog of the summer of 2015. I was going to write about the girls who earn the incentive gifts at the end of their sessions for accomplishing 3, 5, 7, 9 and more years. I was going to write about the friendships made at camp or the memories that we keep close to our hearts all winter long until we can be together again next summer. I was going to write about the final Havdallah or the final Goodnight Song of the summer.
But then I read something….Lauren, one of the STs (rising 10th graders) wrote. It was essentially her camp story. So often, we try to put into words what camp means, what the magical place is that we call our summer home. Many campers and staff have told me that they feel that camp is truly indescribable to people who have never been here. But I think Lauren did a pretty amazing job, so I asked her if I could share it with you and she said yes so here it goes….today’s guest blogger….ST Lauren….
When I first came to Camp Louise, I was a scared, insecure girl about to go into the fourth grade who didn’t know who she was and thought she had to conform to social norms to be cool and popular. Now I’m completing my 7th summer and I’m about to start sophomore year. I’m finally taking classes I want to take, and at camp, doing activities, choice and workshops that interest me instead of just following the herd because that’s what I “should” be doing.
Camp has also transformed my personality into something unrecognizable from what I once was (in a good way). I’m not afraid to speak my mind and stick up for myself, but I’m also a bit more sociable and can comfortably strike up a conversation with almost anyone. That’s a big change from the girl who was shy around others because she was afraid they would judge her or not like her.
But most of all camp has taught me the power of friendship. And while that sounds cheesier than mac and cheese, it’s 100% true. I went from having maybe 6 friends tops at school (circa 2011) to being on a first name basis with my entire class. This was all because I met the phenomenal group of girls who I can now call my ST sisters and who showed me that the only way to show people the “real you” is to literally be yourself. (This was a tough concept to grasp in middle school.) But you’ve also heard the phrase quality over quantity, right? Well, camp has given me that too. I can now successfully tell which people (mostly school, but sometimes camp – you can’t win them all) are toxic for me and my mental and emotional capacity and which friends will be there for me always, even until I’m old and gray.
Camp has given me a lot of gifts, but I think the one that is the most important, the one that makes all the other gifts I’ve written about, is my discovery or self-worth. We live in a world that constantly degrades us, a society where girls are expected to criticize themselves and others. That is the norm in the 21st century. Until camp, I believed I deserved all the loathing and hate and criticism I was getting from myself and others. But at Louise, I am a person, I matter. No, I’m more than a person. I’m a girl. And if I can’t own it, if I can’t recognize the beauty in myself, then who will? Camp has shown me how to truly embrace myself as a human being who deserves respect. It’s best shown in the words of one of my favorite campfire songs:
“Every woman here deserves respect, ain’t nothin’ too good for us, sweet women, nothin’ too good for us.”
And that’s what makes camp so amazing. It’s a sanctuary from your outside world full of problems. Camp is full of self-respecting, intelligent, pretty, funny, caring women who recognized those aspects in me and have helped me achieve my full potential.
This 15 year old ST is truly wise beyond her years. She said it best – what camp means to her…..I truly hope that each of our campers and staff continue to grow and learn every year that they return to our little magical place in 21719. Even more importantly, I hope they take a little camp sparkle with them back out into the real world.
Until Summer 2016….
Happy UN-Birthday to everyone without a summer birthday!
Today’s Menu[table “” not found /]
High: 84°F | Low: 80°F – An amazing weather day to end an amazing summer!