Looking back on my years at camp, some of the things I am most thankful for are the opportunities camp presents to try new activities and discover parts of yourself that you may not have known were there. Growing up, I was never particularly athletic. I didn’t play any sports in school, and the idea of trying something new with others who had been playing for years could be intimidating.
Each summer at CLC, during second session we have what is known as World Cup Soccer day – campers and staff are divided into teams and spend the entire day playing soccer – the morning is generally a series of round-robin games, followed by quarter and semifinals in the afternoon, and the final match, complete with halftime show in the evening. My first summer as camper, when I came to second session, I wasn’t sure how I felt about this idea.
Now as a staff member, I love encouraging new campers who may have never kicked a soccer ball in their life to join in fully on World Cup Soccer day. The unmistakably safe and inclusive atmosphere at camp made my first – and every subsequent – World Cup Soccer day an incredible day of fun and excitement, and taught me to expect good when I try something new, rather than allow myself to be intimidated by the idea that I might not do well. Among the many blessings camp has brought into my experience, I have remembered this lesson time and time again through the years, and am grateful every time it leads me to step outside my “comfort zone.”
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