Written by: Anna Crump, Camp Aranzazu Activity Leader
This summer taught me more than I could ever imagine. But I’ll try to put it into words the best I can.
The first thing I learned is how to work hard. I thought I knew what it meant to work hard, but boy I was wrong. Working hard has a little bit of a different definition now. Our campers deserve the best experience that we can give them, and our staff will do whatever it takes make it possible. So if it means getting up at 6:30 or 7 in the morning to set up on activity or go set out jugs then we will do it. Watching our campers have fun in our activities is worth sweating more than we ever have. Our campers’ joy makes you forget how hot it is outside or how much you are sweating. Working hard means more than just working for ourselves and our selfish reasons. It means working hard for our campers so they can get the week or weekend at camp that they deserve. And I guarantee you that all of our activity leaders will tell you the same thing and do it all over again.
The next thing I learned is patience. Patience for when we go into rainy day plan for the 3rd day in a row. Or patience for when the campers fly through all of the planned activities or games, and have to come up with something on the fly. Patience for when campers aren’t really into the lesson plan made, and you need to adapt and figure out what you can do to get them involved and enjoying the activity. Patience for when you never really enjoyed being splashed or squirted with a water gun until this summer. Hearing the little giggles and the plans on how to attack you with the water guns makes you start to enjoy getting squirted with a water gun — even if it is in the face.
I think the most important thing I learned is how to be grateful for the things we are given. I learned to be grateful for my health, and my families health. I learned to be grateful for getting the opportunity to sweat until our clothes are soaked so our campers can have the best summer camp experience ever. I learned to be grateful for the early mornings and the late nights. And how to be grateful for the loud squealing and screams in the dining hall and art center, because you know that means our campers are having a blast. Our campers deserve the world, and we will try our best to give them that.
The learning never stops at camp. You are always learning new skills and learning new things. Our campers will teach you something new everyday, whether that be something like a random fun fact, or how to be thankful for what you have. They might not even have to say anything. They might teach you new things just by being them. The learning never stops; the new skills learned will be taken back home and used in ways our campers might not even realize.
And that is the beauty of camp. Helping our campers gain confidence they didn’t know they had and for that I am extremely grateful.