When my dad was young, he attended summer camp. He roomed with eight other boys, sang the songs, and played the games. He was miserable.
Years later, when I turned five, my dad (and my mom) sent me to the same camp. I’ve asked him countless times why he would send his precious daughter to a place he couldn’t stand, and while he still doesn’t have a good answer, I’m so glad he did.
My camp experiences, along with my dad’s, have created a passion in me for making sure camp is truly the greatest place on Earth. I realize it’s a big decision, especially for first-time parents, to send their parents to camp, and I want to let you know that A) I appreciate your trust and B) I won’t let you down.
During my years as a camper, counselor, and director, I’ve truly had incredible experiences. I’ve had ups: One year I won girl’s top archer. Another year I shot a gun for the first time (we’re not doing that at Camp Weed - don’t worry). Over the years I got to see campers grow up. And two of the wonderful ladies who stood next to me on my wedding day were friends I had no connection to other than camp.
I’ve also had downs: Once, a girl in my cabin fell off the porch in a fluke accident and had to be rushed the hospital, leaving me to dwell on the not-so-nice words I’d said to her a few hours before. The head cook who had worked at camp since I was seven died from cancer. And too many times, I’ve dealt with clogged toilets (there’s one time I was trapped standing on top - you might want to ask about that one).
I share all that to say: camp has truly shaped me as a person. From the awards I won, the “firsts” I experienced, and the relationships I gained to the difficult conversations I had, the difficult situations I went through, and the maintenance I hope I never have to do again, every piece of my camp puzzle helped me grow. Good or bad, there’s not a moment at camp I would trade.
Because of my own experiences, I’m committed to giving children the same thing. I can (and will) ensure their safety, but I can’t promise that every moment at camp will be the highlight of their life. However, I can promise that my staff and I will be there to guide them through every moment and to help them grow from it. I’ll make sure that, unlike my dad, they have a person at camp to listen to them, to love them, and to help them get through. I promise that to you, and I promise that to them.
I’m excited to share in a week (and hopefully more) of your child’s life, and I truly appreciate you giving me this opportunity. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, no matter how small, I urge you to reach out to me. We’re on the same team, and as I told my cabin mates many times, we’re in it to win.
P.S. I couldn’t mention my head cook without paying tribute. Her name was Ethel Myles, and she was an inspiration to so many children and so many people. I hope to one day live up to half of Mrs. Ethel’s legacy. The picture above is of me and Mrs. Ethel’s incredible daughters, Mrs. Eddie and Mrs. Mary, with Mrs. Ethel’s picture at my wedding, which was, of course, held at camp.