Thoughts and Thanks from Paddy Wood
Having just arrived back from Paris on a camper recruiting trip with counsellor Ruth it seems like this is as good a time as any to write my first blog for the wonderful new Camp North Star blogging site.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Paddy, I am one of the program directors at camp and have been at camp now for 7 years. I found camp as an adult and almost by accident but that story is for another time. I think I have done just about every job at camp from being on the maintenance staff, a counsellor, waterfront director and now a program director.
Having spent the better part of a week in the lovely capital city of France, mainly speaking to new families I wanted to write something for those of you who follow the blog.
There were many highlights of the trip and in no particular order here is a smorgasbord of the week; – Eiffel Tower, Notre Dames, The Mona Lisa, many new camp families, L’Arc D’Triomph, Mickey Mouse and Co. and last but certainly not least FROG’S LEGS!! (Quiet a fishy flavour and texture…) Of course the highlight was meeting all our new families, it’s always great meeting future campers and their parent’s and telling them how special Camp North Star is.
Although I wasn’t lucky enough to experience camp as a camper, I know I have benefited in the same way that our camper’s do. We all find qualities in ourselves that we never knew we had. For me, that includes being able to get up at 6:45 am to set up ski-boats and still make it to the 9:30 am director’s meeting.
But joking aside, it’s only after the last few years at camp that I’ve started to understand truly what camp is about. Camp is more than our three competition ski-boats or our 250ft zip-line. It’s more than the plays we put on every year or the art show-case. It’s about finding your inner strengths and weaknesses. I think our camp parents realise that only after their camper has returned from camp. The activities might get you in the door, but the people you meet and the growth you experience is the reason why we all come back to camp. And that is as true for us, the camp’s staff, as it is for the campers. I have met amazing people from places as far afield as New Zealand, to people who lived no more than 5 miles away from me whilst I grew up, yet did not meet till they stepped foot onto 04274.
So in closing and having just missed the Thanksgiving holiday I would like to say I am thankful for camp. For the amazing people that I get to work with, the fantastic kids who challenge me every day to find my best and for Sue and Jay for making it happen, day in and day out during the summer.
Have a great holiday season everyone and I hope I will see you all come summer 2010.
P.S. Does anyone know who is in the photo with Ruth?! Answers below please.