Badges, Activities, & Beyond, Parents

Camp staff share their reasons to LOVE camp!

Have you ever wondered why our summer camp staff choose camp over other summer employment? Do they love tents and bugs? The outdoors? Are they just obsessed with silly songs and team building games?

Some of that is true, but mostly it’s because camp is an experience like no other. It builds your confidence and stretches your skills. And our camp staff love it! Here, in their own words, are two stories of why our staff love camp.

Katie Hautman (a.k.a. Loco, PA)

“Sometimes the best way to figure out who you are is by going to a place where you don’t have to be anybody else.”

This is a quote off an old camp T-shirt that I found lying around my room, and in one short and sweet sentence it describes everything that camp is. Camp is that one place in your life where you can feel completely and utterly comfortable, not caring whether you act like an idiot or wash your hair in the sink, but embracing those one-match fires and the nights with the people you will never forget.

For me, camp was the biggest step in my life, which allowed me to find my true self. Always being the shy and quiet girl in school, camp was a fresh start. However, it wasn’t all those bug kisses and dirty campfire knees that did it. Even though they were fun and very memorable, it was the campers that made me realize who I was.

Once I received that first big smile and genuine “thank you” note, I knew I had found my place. A place where school and boys didn’t matter anymore, a place where burnt marshmallows were a delicacy and camp songs were the entertainment, a place where I could just be me and you could just be you.

So, if you really want to have one of the best summers of your entire life, while helping out some unforgettable campers and meeting some of your lifelong friends, I definitely recommend camp. While my other friends where slaving away being waitresses at Skyline and baggers at Biggs, I was having an amazing summer that I will never forget.

Emily Berning (a.k.a. Dots)

When I was growing up I was always so excited for summer vacation. Every kid gets excited about summer break, but I was excited about going to Troop Adventure Camp. My troop went to TAC for five summers straight, and we loved having the time out in the woods to sing songs, make crafts, play games, but most importantly we got to see the Junior Instructors. I remember idolizing the JI’s when I was a kid. I wanted to grow up to be just like them, loud, outgoing, and silly. Growing up I was always the shyest kid. I hated reading out loud in class and I didn’t have many friends so I always admired people who were confident and outgoing. I never thought I would become a Junior Instructor, but when the time came I decided I’d give it a try.

I was so nervous walking up to Ittmann Lodge for training with my sleeping bag under one arm and my overnight bag over the other. What if I didn’t make any friends? What if I don’t fit in? What if I forget how to do an activity in the middle of me teaching it? What if I get fired? I was so nervous that I almost turned around and ran to my mom’s car. Luckily, I made it to the door and I was greeted by loud, excited voices. I made so many new friends and learned so much about being a leader and I felt so at home in this group of loud and outgoing girls.

That summer I came out of my shell. As I look back at my time as a Junior Instructor, I realize that this was the most valuable experience I had growing up. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. I spent three summers working at Camp Stonybrook as a Junior Instructor and loved it so much that I came back as the Arts and Crafts Specialist in 2012 and I even had the privilege of being in charge of the Junior Instructors as the program director at Camp Stonybrook and Camp Butterworth in 2014.

These leadership experiences that I had at camp prepared me for my job today and shaped me into the person I am and I will be forever grateful for the Junior Instructor program.

Sounds awesome, right? So what are you waiting for? Send your daughter to summer camp and let our amazing staff take her on an adventure, Girl Scout style!

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