Dear CLC blog readers:
In this Thanksgiving week, the camp staff are each writing personal narratives on what they’re grateful for, relating to our time at camp; we’ll be posting one or two of the gratitude ideas every day this week. As a place of growth and discovery, we have all learned things at camp that have profoundly changed our lives for the better. But these are often very personal, so the statements you will read are not meant to be an indication of CLC policy, but merely reflections on things in our individual lives that we are grateful for which were discovered through our time at camp. We hope you enjoy, and feel free to post comments about what YOU are grateful for this week, too! All our love, and best for a wonderful Thanksgiving week. -Nathan
This Thanksgiving season I have been thinking a lot about Crystal Lake. I mean, that makes sense, since I now live and work here. But being here today, 24 years after my first summer as a camper, is allowing me some perspective on my childhood experiences at CLC.
The summer I was fifteen I went through the Leadership Training Program and Counselor in Training Program with several other teenagers. It was a great group of guys and girls, and I left with some friends that I still keep in touch with to this day. But what really knocked my socks off was that I became close friends with boys too. At home I didn’t really have any friends that were boys. It was too awkward, and I was too shy. So when I left that summer with genuinely good, healthy friendships – with guys and girls – I was ecstatic.
It was still pretty hard for me at school to find the confidence I had at camp, but my camp friendships were a source of love and continuity. It felt harder to be myself at school. At camp, the atmosphere of unconditional love gave me the freedom to be me, without worrying too much about what Abercrombie trend I was or wasn’t following. The tone set by the staff helped all of us to see each other without masks of popularity or appearance. We were just being ourselves, and that naturally led to healthy friendships.
So I’m writing about this because I now have hindsight to recognize what camp gave me – it wasn’t just a magical place in the woods where things went well for me – it was an atmosphere of unconditional love. A place where I was seen for who I was without being boxed in by social pressures.
I’m still shy sometimes…and awkward…who isn’t every now and then? But I am endlessly grateful for the friendships and the self-confidence that camp helped me find when I needed it.
P.S. – Enjoy a Casey Davis CLC video in celebration of Thanksgiving: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl64o-l1ukc]
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