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Summer, Camp O'Malley Style

July 25th, 2012

By: Stacy Michell

While most of my friends have been willing away the summer months making burritos or playing video games, I have been living every moment to the fullest at Camp O’Malley. This is not your typical summer job. It is simultaneously the most difficult and most rewarding job I have ever had. You’re probably wondering what has been happening this summer at camp. Let me take you through a week of summer, Camp O’Malley style.

On Monday morning, a new batch of campers timidly arrive at Camp. The returning campers squeal and run to hug their old friends and favorite counselors. Some campers are excited, but most are nervous as they shyly meet their new counselor and cabin mates. That day the counselors work hard to build a sense of family in their cabin, teach the safety rules, and make sure that everyone is having fun and excited about the rest of the week. Even the nervous campers can’t help but smile when they get to jump into the pool for a refreshing swim.  On Tuesday, the campers begin their workshops. By this time they’ve made friends with some other kids in their cabin, and now they get to meet some new kids by joining a workshop group. With their workshop group, campers go on nature adventures, ride bikes, float down the river in tubes or canoes, aim for the bulls eye in archery, and show their bravery on the high ropes course. It is a special moment when a beaming camper turns around to look at his counselor after he overcame his fear and climbed to the top of the rock wall. After venturing out for workshops, campers return to their cabin family for meals and cabin time. Here they get a little down time to share about their day, read or listen to a book, or take a nap. Being a camper is hard work after all.

Night time in the woods can seem like a scary time for a kid who has always lived in the city. Not at Camp O’Malley, if you peeked in a cabin you might see campers having a balloon party, or sitting on the floor braiding each other’s hair and telling stories. If you keep watch through the trees, you might see the flashlights of a sneaky counselor taking their cabin for a night hike or a kitchen raid. When it’s bedtime, the campers barely hear the first chapter of their bedtime story before their busy day has them zonked out for the night. This brings us to Thursday, the night before the campers go home. We celebrate with a talent show. The campers and their counselors show off their skills with songs, dances, skits and more. On Friday morning, the campers get busy packing up and saying their goodbyes, exchanging phone numbers and addresses with their new friends. They yell “Find me on Facebook!” to each other and ask their favorite counselors to sign their t-shirt. In one short week, they have met new friends, tried new things, and gained some independence. It was my job to guide them through all of that and while it is not easy, each moment was totally worth it.

Comments

#1 Marcia (Blakeslee) Hadding said:

Thanks for your wonderful work this summer! Its counelors like you who enrich campers lives! You will remember this summer all your life and look back years from now and know that you became a better person because of it! Keep Camping!
Miss Marcia from the summers of '1973, 1974, 1975

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