I’m a city kid from Philadelphia, and coming to camp for the first time four years ago was a new experience for me. My brother told me about it after working a summer here so I jumped at the chance to come check it out. When I first got here everyone was so welcoming and I felt right at home. I made a lot of friends right away; it was such a cool atmosphere and I felt like no one was judging me and I was free to be myself.
I made lifelong friends that summer, and the summers since then that I’ve come back to work at camp. We keep in touch throughout the year and check in with each other to see how things are going. My camp friends have come to visit me in Philadelphia, and even if it’s been awhile since we’ve seen each other it feels like we just hung out yesterday.
I’ve really enjoyed getting to know a lot of you campers, and seeing how you’ve changed over the years. I see a lot of differences in you, I see attitude adjustments, changes in your style, and I see you becoming nicer people who are more accepting of people from different cultures.
Camp has become a way of life for me, even when I’m back at home. And I know it’s like that for a lot of you, too. I’ve paid a lot of attention to the changes I’ve seen in you, and that makes me want to change myself. I’ve become a more serious person when I’m in the real world. Camp has opened my eyes to a world that’s bigger than just the city where I’m from. It’s made me want to finish school and it’s made me more accepting of different kinds of people. Being here helped me become more comfortable talking in front of big crowds, it taught me how to make new friends at college and it taught me how to communicate better.
What I’m most looking forward to this summer is spending time with all of you, hearing your stories from throughout the school year and seeing all the positive changes you’ve made in your own lives.