True Life: I Never Went to Camp (Thoughts from New Counselor Todd Mitchell)
I never went to summer camp as a kid. I never had a chance to make friends at the dining hall table with super sweet bug juice in hand, talking about swimming at the waterfront. I have always been one of those kids whose ideal summer consisted of getting into shenanigans with the neighborhood kids and flustering my parents. You can understand how completely out of my element I am, now surrounded by children ages 7-16 with the job of not only acting as a parent but also teacher, friend, and role model.
I never really thought about working with kids until last summer, when my twin brother, Chris, came back from his first summer as a camp counselor a changed man. I spent the whole summer lazing about at my job delivering pizzas, while Chris had a full life changing experience. What was once a more quiet reserved person had confidence and leadership skills. I knew I had to be a part of something that was so drastically helpful.
My college roommate, David, another camp counselor, got me to apply this past winter without much goading. I desperately wanted to get involved with something bigger than myself. I could barely contain my excitement reading the email offering me a job after my interview. The next few months, while slow going, only added to my excitement waiting for training to start. I was quite literally bouncing in my seat as Chris and I drove up to the quiet town of Poland, Maine, despite how awful the weather was when we arrived.
The first two weeks I was at camp already blew away any and all past summers, and that was before the kids even showed up. Getting to know the amazing group of men and women who work for Camp North Star has been a privilege. And I know that I have made lifelong friends that will always be at my side ready to pick me up when I am down.
Despite my overall excitement for camp, I am still nervous working with kids. Beyond babysitting, working with kids is something very new to me. What I am hoping is that these amazing campers I will come to know over the course of the summer will make as big of an impact on me as they did for Chris; and in return I hope to make an impact on them.