When I first heard the saying “Come for a summer, stay for a lifetime” I didn’t believe it. I pulled into camp, an alumni’s daughter, and I didn’t even know how I was going to say goodbye to my parents for 4 weeks. But, 3 days into camp I wrote to my parents begging to stay 7 weeks, and that is how I know camp is as special as it is.
Hi! My name is Paige Chestler and it’s my 8th summer at camp. 1st on staff making me a first-year aide (FYA). I’m a counselor for the Jesters, the 10-year-old girls group, and I couldn’t be happier. Last year as a Scribe I watched the other counselors to try and get an idea of how my summer could look like the following year, and it is just how I perceived it to be, the most rewarding adventure I could have asked for. This first summer on staff posed many new experiences from transitioning from being a camper. But with the help of many returning counselors, I easily found my groove and went on to create even more amazing memories in the Realm.
Being at camp, you are given so many amazing opportunities that you would not get in your everyday life outside of camp. For example, today I joined an optional junior camp mountain hike. With a group of Jesters, Archers, and Bows, we made the short ride to Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, NH. From being on this hike, it reminded me of another reason that I love camp. The friendships and bonds you make are forever life-changing and being on staff just furthers the relationships you can make with the younger kids as a senior camper. The entirety of the hike (up and down the mountain) I had a kid in each hand, not even out of tiredness or boredom, just the love of their hearts for wanting to be the first 3 girls up the mountain. I am happy to say that we accomplished this goal. After making the short trek back down we took all the happy hikers to Cozy Corner for ice cream and seeing the smiles on their faces when we pulled in warms my heart every day.
Being at camp for 8 summers now, I wish I could be living in my campers shoes-still having multitudes of time ahead. But I wouldn’t give up the summers I’ve already had for the world. Camp is that amazing of a place where it is impossible to wake up and not know that every day is going to be a new adventure. Through the good and the bad, camp is the most special place of them all.
My one piece of advice for anyone coming to camp, seeing camp, or anything in between, is to never waste a minute being here. Time is the ultimate enemy, and the memories and friendships here change your life forever.
Sweet Dreams from the Realm