Interviewed by: Sandy Newman
Camper: Sophie Newman, 4 year camper at Bryn Mawr
Welcome to our third installment of Camper Confidential! These interviews with current campers give us a behind the scenes look at camp straight from the source! You’ll meet kids and teens who live 10 for 2. Plus, mom chimes in to provide some important insight and perspective (so you first time camp mamas can breathe a sigh of relief…and maybe get some needed comic relief)!
What do you love most about sleepaway camp?
Sophie: I love the feeling when you know you are in your happy place, the place that you are the most comfortable in the whole world, and you feel a real sense of belonging. My camp friends and I have an extremely special relationship, and I leave every summer counting down the days till the next. Also, I love how the counselors are committed to making every summer just that much better.
Sandy: I love that camp has taught Sophie independence, resilience, and confidence. Without having mom and dad to go to all the time, Sophie has figured out how to advocate for herself and problem solve.
Were you ever nervous that you wouldn’t love it?
Sophie: Of course! On the ride to camp my first summer I had butterflies and was nervous about the common things, who would be in my bunk? Would my counselors be nice? Will I get homesick? However, the second I stepped off the bus, I knew I was home.
Sandy: Feeling a strong bond with the owners before Sophie went to camp helped alleviate any concerns. Both my mother and I were long time campers so I was hoping that a love for camp ran in the genes!
What is your favorite activity at camp that you had never tried before?
Sophie: Water aerobics.
Sandy: Archery and riflery were definitely camp only experiences, haven’t done them before or since!
When you went back for your 2nd summer, what were you most excited about, now that you knew what to expect?
Sophie: I was most excited about developing stronger friendships with the girls I met the previous year.
Sandy: I was excited for Sophie to develop a deeper connection with the traditions.
Wouldn’t you rather be home with me?! Just kidding. But really – what is it that makes camp feel so magical?
Sophie: The feeling of belonging and having true friends who will stick by you through thick and thin.
Sandy: Today, I can close my eyes and still smell the pine trees, hear the crackling of the campfire, and recite (almost all) of the words to the songs we sang. My husband’s worst nightmare is when I sing them out loud :)
Favorite Meal at Camp?
Sandy: Scottie’s cookies at milk bar after swim and 4th of July Cupcakes, always with a paper flag.
What advice can you give to 1st year campers?
Sophie: Work with your parents and 365 to make sure this is the right camp for you before choosing it, and when you do savor every last second.
Sandy: Have confidence that a lot of these camps have been around for almost 100 years and are just as popular as ever for a reason!
And most importantly, S’mores or Ice Cream?
Sophie: Hard…. SMORES!!!!!
Sandy: S’mores ice cream