As the first summer progressed, the changes in my girls were obvious. They were becoming a lot more self assured, independent, and physically stronger. The happiness that radiated from their faces, their eyes, and their smile said it all. Through camp, they were also gaining a real appreciation and respect for nature; They were making really great friends, who also shared the same values and appreciation in the camp experience.
As my girls got a little older, they wanted to experience CHH Overnight Camp. Was I nervous for them this time? No! I knew they were going to be just fine. Competent and caring staff, excellent activities to keep them fit and happy. The experience is similar, but different at Overnight Camp. It really gave my girls a sense of identity and true self esteem, compassion and so much more.
I remember like yesterday when my girls were little Pioneers. I truly believe camp has made a major difference and impact on the type of people they are now. I'm so very proud of the people they are growing into and I can honestly say I attribute a good part of their mindset to spending their summers at CHH. I'm also so proud they want to start a new chapter at CHH as part of the counselor staff. To help make a real difference in giving children the amazing feelings about camp that were given to them. I'm a true supporter of Camp and I whole heartedly believe there is a huge difference in children who attend summer camp vs. those who do not. Everyone wants the best for their child, give them CHH Summer Camp!
Here are their stories in their words.
First my oldest, Ali, 15, who is going to be an Intern at CHH Day Camp this Summer, 2014: Camp is my home away from my actual home. It’s always been that way for me. Summer of 2014 will be my 10th year going to CHH. I started as a little camper when I was just the age of 5 and now I'll be a part of the staff. It’s a place where you step out of the technology-controlled world and it opens you up to whole new experiences. Climbing a rock wall and going zip lining, doing arts and crafts, swimming at the pool and lake, choosing from a variety of sports, camp allows not just the campers, but the staff as well to test their limits and get out of their comfort zone. With being in such a technology relied society all year, we forget the beauty of nature and traditional activities past generations did before all this. Camp offers all these activities that opens up the creative genius in every kid. It is a place that every kid dreams of.
I’m lucky enough to say I’ve lived that dream for 10 years and still going. It is just one of those places, for me, that you just do not get tired of. Being surrounded by incredible staff members, making lifelong friendships, opening up to new foods and activities and a different culture, camp has helped me grow as a person and still is. I honestly couldn’t express it in words how much of an impact camp has had on me. The friendships I made 8 years ago are the friendships I still have to this day. The memories I have made are the memories I look back on whenever I’m sad. Every parent wants what’s best for their kid. They want a healthy, strong, protected, fun environment that they know they can trust but also makes their kid happy. Camp is the definition of that and more. Camp guarantees a good story to share each night. Everyday as a camper, I would come home from camp with a smile on my face. Now as a counselor, I make it my top priority to give each camper the same experience I had with camp: amazing. Camp has had such a huge impact on the person I am today and is still growing to be. School just does not even compare to camp. Camp gives you freedom and opportunities. There are activities every kid loves. You name it, Camp has it. Bullying is not tolerated ever. It is a safe, secure place that gives every kid the opportunity to be who they truly are, (and staff too). Camp is just a place that kids dream of going and I’m luckily enough to say I have lived that dream my whole life so far. If I could, I would honestly go all around the world and open every kid up to camp. That is how amazing Camp really is. It’s honestly just such an experience that is unlike any other and I’m so fortunate to say I’m part of staff there. You grow up with friends there and make amazing memories. It’s so much fun to come back year after year and see all your old friends. It’s like I’ve never even left. Camp is just one of those places that in order to know its impact, you need to experience it. It truly is a treasure for me and as I get older and older, camp allows me to still show my inner child. Introducing someone to Camp is honestly probably one of the best decisions someone can make. It is truly unlike any other place I have ever experienced.
Last, but not least, Taylor's story of her camp experience. She will be among the oldest campers for CHH Overnight Camp. Camp: my 2nd Home!
In June of 2005, I remember stepping off the camp bus for the first time. I was only a Pioneer and I was nervous. I didn't know anyone and had no idea what to expect. My nervousness quickly disappeared when I found my counselors. They each greeted me with smiles and hugs. I already had a feeling that summer would rock! I continued going to day camp for all 8 weeks for the next 3 years. Summer 2008 came around and I was finally old enough for overnight camp. Since it was my first year, I decided to try a week then go back to day camp. That 1st week I had so much fun, I decided to stay an additional week. By the time I was almost 10 years old, I wanted to stay at overnight camp 6 weeks. I loved camp so much I never wanted to go home! I simply adored all the day camp activities and I was still so excited to try all the things that overnight camp had to offer. Since then, I attended 2 weeks of day camp and 6 weeks of Overnight Camp. Regardless of Day Camp or Overnight Camp, every year CHH has different activities planned for both day and overnight camp.
As soon as camp ends each year I count down the days until I can go back and have another fantastic summer. I will definitely be back as an Intern and as a counselor, so I can be part of the fun all over again and help other campers have the best summer ever, just as my counselors did. I honestly think I made the best decision to start camp 9 years ago. I don't of CHH as "just camp", I think of it as my Second Home. CHH is by far, one of the best and most fun places in the world!!! I love CHH SOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!