The Summer 365 Counselors are feeling thankful for the wonderful gift that is a summer spent at camp. And so, as we settle into our turkey and stuffing (and yes Thanksgiving s’mores are obviously on the dessert menu), we thought we’d share what aspects of camp we are truly grateful for…from friendships to field days and everything in between. From our family to yours Happy Thanksgiving!!
There’s no food quite like camp food. While traditional camp food might not have its own category on Zagat or Yelp, it definitely holds a special place in our hearts. Whether you’re eating sloppy joe’s in the mess hall, chowing down on candy post-visiting day, or savoring sweet s’mores by the campfire, you can be thankful for the bellyfuls of camp food that keep you satisfied over the summer. And speaking of s’mores by the campfire . . .
Who doesn’t love a cool camp night lit by a crackling campfire? We warm ourselves with warm gooey s’mores, put our arms around our best camp friends, and sing all the songs we’ve known since our first summers. There’s something particularly campy about a campfire, and we are thankful that these pivotal parts of camp have remained a staple of our summers.
While a nice night around the campfire is one of our favorite ways to spend a summer evening, there are some campers who prefer a spectacle. Fourth of July Fireworks are a hallmark of many summers, where camps set light to the starry summer skies. We know many thankful campers who are happy to have watched from the waterfront as these colorful explosions sparkled in the stratosphere, and we’re thankful for the opportunity to witness these displays of patriotic pride every summer.
The best friends are often camp friends, and with very good reason. There’s no way to recreate the connection that comes from spending up to seven straight weeks at your best friends’ sides. When you’re at camp, you do everything with your friends – whether you’re eating, sleeping, running, shouting, crying, laughing, or walking to the shower house – and as a result of this truly unique togetherness, campers form truly unique relationships. When you combine this with the fact that campers truly grow up with one another year after year, it is easy to see why the bonds of camp friendship are as strong as they are – and this is something for which we are extremely thankful.
No parents? No problem.
One of the most unique aspects of summer camp is the freedom it provides to campers, allowing them to develop a strong sense of independence within the structure (and safety) of a camp environment. Full schedules and fun activities keep campers busy and allow them to seek and develop a variety of interests and skills they never knew that they had. This freedom from home also allows campers a chance to develop socially, and campers will learn how to independently lay the bonds of friendship that will ultimately last a lifetime. Speaking of which . . .
Field Days and Relays
Have you ever eaten a whole blueberry pie as fast as possible? Or sprinted a baton 250 yards with a herd of roaring teammates behind you? Or cheered at the top of your lungs as your best friend dizzy-izzy’d their way into a first place finish?
There are definitely relays that exist outside of camp, but there are no relays like camp relays. Every camper has experienced some form of the elation that comes with cheering their team’s perfect baton-pass, of perfectly executing the egg-toss, or of celebrating a wonderfully wacky victory in an always-wacky relay. And for those who play high-stakes, there are some camps where the relay result will determine the winner of Color War! This exhilarating camp tradition is one thing that keeps us coming back, and is definitely something we’re thankful for.
Feeling This Forever
Perhaps the aspect of camp that we are most grateful for is the fact that it simply sticks with you. Camp is timeless. The friends we make at camp are with us forever and the values we learn at camp guide us for the rest of our lives. Camp truly provides a community to the larger camp-family, and that community extends well beyond our CIT summers. So whether you haven’t returned since sixteen, you come back as a counselor every summer, or your camp experience now revolves around visiting day, we hope you can take a moment to say thank you for the wonderful summer experience that ties us together.