In the new year I decided it had been a tough few months and I needed a break i needed to do something for myself. I decided after four years I would return to what I called my summer home in 2012 and 2013 and return to camp where I would be working from June 9th until August 12th. The camp that I worked at is located in up state New York in the Adirondacks mountains and is positively beautiful. As many of the readers of #imnotdrunk know I have had a rough year, dad has gotten worse and I didn’t handle it well. I struggled with the harsh words which were said to me, the lies and questions which were asked about my life and choices I have made, everything I have done in the past 10 years has been for my fathers future and most importantly his care.
In 2012 and 2013 I came to the camp to get back to being a teenager again and enjoy my summer doing something I love, teaching water sports. It was the best experience i could have asked for and I made many friends. This year has been no different, I wanted to learn what it was like to be a typical 24 year old without the stresses of home, or the stresses of 22 tablets a day, replacing broken items or social workers, they are supposed to help but I don’t find it an addition. It has been difficult trying to let go, trying to become the person who isn’t in charge! This sounds incredibly controlling but when you have the responsibility of someone else’s life in your hands you need to be in control of everything, your schedule and their schedule, you need to be on top of every aspect of their life and your own.
Camp in playful and enjoyable, it is relaxed and easily scheduled. Each day is the same and you know what is coming next, there are very little surprises apart from evening activity, six chairs break and team week break. The camp where I work at is built around traditions and the campers are exceptional little girls! It has been a pleasure to get to know the campers and help make their summer fantastic, I hope I have. This camp is rated third in the top American summer camps, and I can understand why. It is beautiful and offers campers everything they could want at a high standard. As a place to work for the summer I could not ask for more although I miss my friends and family I feel like I have gained another family and new friends.
I feel like I needed this break to gather myself together, I was struggling with my work I do for Huntington’s and questioning my future with it.
I feel refreshed and ready to attack the world of Huntington’s again. I believe I have gotten back to he person I used to be. I have so many ideas of what I want for my future and the future of Huntington’s, the people I have met are so inspirational and have helped me to believe that I can do all I want to and feel I need to accomplish. I no longer feel defeated, as I said before in other posts I have found my voice, this is what #imnotdrunk is, my voice but now I have gained back my confidence.
I would recommend anyone who would like to work at a summer camp to do so! And I would recommend the one I have worked at! They are preparing these young girls to become young ladies and teaching them skills they need. The camp offers activities such as basketball, field sports, tennis, dance, gymnastics, theatre, arts and crafts, horseback riding, swimming, canoe and kayak and of course water ski and wakeboarding. The staff running the camp are inspirational, they are from all over America and even other countries just like the counsellors. The head counsellor at camp is an exceptional woman I truly don’t understand how she does her job. It is a job I could only dream of and one my degree is setting me up for but I don’t now if anyone could do it like this lady.
At camp I am a ski/bunk counsellor, which means during the day I work at water ski and tech the girls what they want to learn or drive a boat. In order to do this I was able to pass my New York state PV boating license exam during the first week of ski orientation. During meal times and in the evening and morning I m with my campers serving them their meals and also in the bunks living with them. The camp is very traditional as I said and after lunch and dinner we cheer or sing songs that past members of the camp have written. I have to admit I wish I could have been a camper here!
The feeling of acceptance and family is overwhelming and I cant think of a word to describe it!
As my time at camp this year ends and we start to say our goodbyes and talk abut leaving it makes me sad as this was an enjoyable and fun time for me. I wont pretend it was all perfect. In any job you have good days and bad days, many days I was extremely happy and enjoying my time here and other days I was upset and calling my mum quite possibly in tears. I missed my family and friends and Stephen, but this summer has been an experience I will never forget and it saddens me to think I may not return. I will have to wait and see what the future holds.
I have truly enjoyed my time away and used it as a time to get back to myself and get away from the chaos of living in the 21st century. I don’t have my phone on my throughout the day and I don’t have very good Wifi access, and honestly its been great spending time with my new friends, and experiencing new things! Walking down the path to see who is around for a chat instead of lifting the phone and calling someone for a chat! I have truly enjoyed it and would urge anyone wanting to work in a summer camp environment to go for it! Weather it is a day camp or sleep away camp it will be the best decision you could ask for. My advice would be this, complete a google search and find where you want to go, if you have a skill you can teach then find a camp which involves that. Contact the camp direct and they will help you from there. Take the leap and do it! You wont regret it! And if you would like to talk to me about anything please do! This was not a easy thing for me to do, I handed the care of my father over to my brother and strangers! A lot of preparation went into leaving him and ensuring my brother had everything he needed!
I hope you have all enjoyed reading about my time away this summer so far! I have 9 days left of camp and then three weeks where I will be travelling and spending time with family! So watch out for that blog post! Id say it’ll be written on the plane ride home! Thank you all for reading and please remember that these are my personal opinions and views!