Would the summer just come already!?
All the buds on the trees have exploded pink, white, purple with the heat of summer and we’re left to tensely wait for campers to arrive like like a sprinter at the starting line who braced for the race a day early.
There is a positive light in the fog though, a silver lining. Summer Camp Staff have started to arrive. The finest breed of people in the world. Optimistic beyond rationality and with a work ethic that is unmatched by machines, their energy makes every final grunting day of preparation a delight. Any hesitation I might have had about weather or not these ARE the people I want to lead the campers in this program, weather or not I see them as role models or good decision-makers which our young adults could emulate and build their own identity off of as strong-positive-character-driven-values-oriented motivated people, has been obliterated. This year’s staff is Awesome with a capital A!
I recently asked them what they’re most excited about and what they’re favorite memories were from last summer. Here’s a few select answers:
“I am extremely excited to meet all of you and start a new chapter in my life. I have no doubt it will be an experience that will stick with me forever.”
“A Fond Memory: leaving with +25 empty nalgene bottles for a water run and returning an hour later with +25 empty nalgene bottles and a complete encyclopedia set. What a hoot!”
“I’m just excited and looking forward to making new and lasting memories with new friends and catching up with old ones. My favorite experience last year was getting to have a partner in crime by my side for the entire Summer and getting to know him as if he was my younger brother.”
“I am looking forward to more of this, and to meeting all of the new staff and campers coming along this summer, of course!”
“Being with my backpack and good people!”
“Voyager canoe starts, paddling in the dacks and being trusted to plan canoe trips especially seems it was my first year especially being not that confident and all that. So its all your fault why i talk a lot more than i used to… sorry.”
“Exploring all the fabulous places we get to go, and creating a new family every two weeks!!!! So amped for this summer!”
“My favorite memory was taking all the boys tents to do Devo on big tree with all the stars (and possibly another smaller tree???) And what I look forward to the most is getting kids excited on working hard and getting dirty!”
“My favorite memory was watching my 2nd session tent, who were all divided and basically at each other’s thoughts finally working things out by the end of the session. Also having a mimi me 3rd session. My other favorite moment was (well, I guess this is not really a moment) just watching various different kids who have troubling lives at home truly embrace the wilderness and find self worth. It is such an incredible thing to witness, and is definitely part of what keeps me addicted to this place–being surrounded by the woods and good people and helping kids to be themselves and truly connect with nature.”
I hope you can see why I’m so excited about this staff. If you have any questions as the summer gets closer, please don’t hesitate to let me know!
See you on the trail!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Zach couldn't keep himself out of the woods when growing up. He started working at a Northern Wisconsin YMCA Camp as a wilderness trip leader while in college and fell in love with getting kids into nature. The smiles on kids faces after returning from a once in a life time wilderness experience is why he is here today. Zach brought his talents to Frost Valley YMCA, in 2014, when he started as the Trips Coordinator and soon was promoted to Adventure Director. Zach loves all forms of Wilderness exploration, though some would say his heart lies most with canoeing.
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