Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lessons I Learned in Rural New Hampshire

As most of you know (or should know) I spent 10 weeks of my summer in Freedom, New Hampshire working at a summer camp.

As usual, I packed my bags up mid-June, and flew to the place I'd call home for the next few weeks and  did the "camp thing": sing crazy songs at the top of your lungs, keep the older campers from getting their swerve on with each other, eat ridiculous amounts of french toast, and so on. 

Really, it's the best. 

Every summer, I try to walk away with something I learned those long 10 weeks. Here's the 2014 list:

I'm STILL afraid of bugs. The bug game in New Hampshire is on another level. You would think that after 9 different camps, I'd be okay. Nope, not at all.

New Hampshire is the King of Ice Cream. I've never consumed so much ice cream in my life. Shout out to Bobby Sue's in Freedom. My taste buds sing your praises!

Thunder and lightening storms are the best and worst.  Storms mean chilling in your cabin having fun with your kids... HELLO FREE TIME!  It also means you can't use water until the storm passes or nap, which is unfortunate because free time and naps are synonymous.

Your kids idolize you.  Quite a few of my girls called me their idol this summer. While I question the validity of those statements, I am still humbled. On some level, my camper found something about me cool. It's the best feeling, and really... who doesn't need that kind of positivity in their life?

It's okay to slow down. Freedom, and it's surrounding towns, are very slow. No one seems to be in a rush, and that is absolutely refreshing. 

I always feel the need to go, go, GO. I always have to be doing something. This summer, I was forced to slow down. Forced to just be. I didn't have a class to run to, an event or lesson to plan for the upcoming weeks... I had the opportunity to go-with-the-flow.

At camp, I wouldn't find out what I was doing for the day, until the morning of.  I would then stay on that activity all day. As a planner, IT DROVE ME NUTS. However, there's a serenity that comes with staying at the gaga pit all day. You have nothing better to do than just join in and have fun, then go to sleep and do it all again.

Leaving camp on Tuesday was bittersweet for many reasons. I was beyond happy to get home, but also a bit wistful knowing this would be the last camp I'd work at. Obviously, one can never say never, but I'm pretty sure about the closing of this chapter.

My life has been made so rich by all the counselors and campers I have had the pleasure of working with. 

Campers, you've played the biggest part of my love for camps. From my oldest campers (ER's from Montana!) to my newest Session 4 girls at Cody, I sincerely love you all. I hope the best for you as you grow up. Make wise decisions, do your best in school, and have the audacity to chase your dreams. You are some of the most outrageous and fun people I have had the pleasure of meeting.

Counselors, I have laughed my realest laughs, and shed my deepest tears with some of you. It sounds cheesy, but you do all hold a special part in my heart. From Entourage, to the worship and comedy teams from fellow A/G schools, to my cheetah sisters, to all the people I met this summer, I am so lucky to have met you. 

Camp Fox, Cedaredge, Granite Hills, Richardson, Elkanah, Glacier Bible, Pincrest, High Peak, and Cody, Thank you for taking this city girl and making her appreciate the great outdoors.