By: Sammy Wolfin
Hello, fellow camp friends! My name is Samantha (but you can call me Sammy) and I will be Summer 365’s camp correspondent! Yes, I will be giving you a glimpse into everything camp from the “inside” this summer! I am qualified for the job as a seasoned counselor, but let me rattle off my camp stats just so you are all convinced….
– This 2014 summer will mark my 15th consecutive summer at my seven-week, brother-sister camp located in the Hudson Valley region of New York.
– I am a third generation camp-goer as my grandfather, mother and uncles AND me and my brothers all attended!
– I was a camper from 2000-2008, a CIT in 2009, a tennis counselor from 2010-2011 and a Division Leader since 2012.
– My mom was the program head of golf from 2000-2002 and the Girls’ Athletic Director from 2003-2012.
So to recap… I am the definition of a “lifer.”
I am so excited to contribute an insider’s perspective of camp life to Summer 365 this coming season. I left for camp on Monday (I know, LUCKY ME!) and I can’t wait for summer 2014 to be fully underway! So sit back, relax, and enjoy my first perspective piece from the “outside” before I start with my on-site correspondence to be posted in the upcoming weeks.
Yes I still go to camp… so what?
On May 8th, I started my full-time internship working for a PR Agency in New York City. My time schedule was very limited because no matter what, I had to be finished with my work on Friday, June 20th.
“Why aren’t you doing your internship for the rest of the summer?”
“Where are you going after you leave the city?”
“Why did you rush to start your job in May and not June?”
These are the questions I have been asked way too many times in the past six weeks to even count on my fingers (and toes too, possibly). So, do you want to know the answers?
“I have another job.”
“Upstate New York”
“Because starting the last week of June, I start my summer job as a sleep-away-camp counselor.”
Then the next slew of questions start filing in.
“Wait… how old are you?”
“Is there anyone your age still going to camp?”
“ARE YOU INSANE?!?!”
Honestly, I think I am the sanest among my peers. As a 21-year-old I am straddling a very thin and blurred line between my former and future lives. While I am definitely not a child anymore (I’m entering my senior year of college, I just got back from a semester abroad in Spain, and I even filled out my own W-4 forms for my internship), I find myself constantly yearning for the comforts of my childhood as I seem to move further away from them. For me, nothing defines my childhood as much as camp does.
So to clarify: I am 21 years old, for 15 years I have yet to miss a summer at my favorite place in the world (camp, duh), and my summer uniform is limited to running shorts and 6 packs on 6 packs of Hanes V-necks. I swear I am getting to why I am “the sanest” among my peers.
Camp makes me happy. That is why I know it is the right place for me to be at this point in my life. While I was confident in this fact, I was still nervous to tell my potential employers that my internship timeline was limited.
I am both grateful and lucky that I found an amazing internship with understanding managers. These managers chose to listen as to why I could only work for six weeks, instead of immediately discarding my application and resume like so many other companies did. And you know what? These professionals didn’t call me crazy; their tones of voice didn’t turn judgmental either. To be honest, they were happy for me!
“Good for you!”
“What an amazing way to spend the rest of your summer!”
“Enjoy it while you can!”
Now, I am not trying to shame or bash my peers and friends who chose to work and to participate in internship programs for the whole summer (usually May-August). That is the reality for most of them aside from me, actually. But, if I have the opportunity to gain experience and return to the place I am the best version of myself, why not take advantage of that?
Enjoy it while you can… enjoy it while you can! These are the words, uttered by my career-driven and very successful managers that also perfectly support my decision to go back to camp this summer. Soon the hair-thin line I described earlier will disappear and my former life will be exactly that: former. For now, I can have this piece of my childhood, and you know what? I am going to enjoy it.