My second summer as a counselor at Forest Lake Camp promised the same warm days by the lake, beautiful moonlit nights, and experiences that are camp culture. But this summer was also different in many ways. I extended myself into multiple activities, not just ultimate frisbee, which has been and will always continue to be my passion. I had the chance to instruct archery, beach volleyball, and the newly created activity period – creative writing. It was also my first time as a senior boys counselor in cozy Cabin 10.
Now, although both junior boys’ camp and senior boys’ camp are both great, they’re different. Instead of being woken up at the crack of dawn each morning by excited campers ready to go, you have to go bed-to-bed in the morning to individually wake up every sleepy teen. Conversations are no longer about cartoons, but instead on how to properly “whip” and “nay-nay,” and which marvel superhero is superior.
Some of my favorite moments from this summer are from the campers in Cabin 10. Whether it is Franki and Andrew wearing bathing suits, towels, sunglasses, with sunscreen tipped noses to a social, to Jordan’s always entertaining questions, and to Danila’s offer to fight a bear on our cabin overnight, if the situation ever arose. Senior boys camp was particularly special to me not only due to the constant entertainment of the campers, but the level of maturity and sincerity that all the campers demonstrated by the end of the summer.
My fondest memories extend into activity periods as well. I remember during a creative writing period, Cam saying something along the lines of “I really enjoy creative writing, because it gives us a chance to sit and catch our breath, and to write about our feelings.” Usually when a thirteen-year-old tells you they enjoy talking about their feelings, you tend to think that they’re playing you for a fool, or just joking around. But after a sarcastic “Thanks Cam,” he assured me that what he said was genuine. And this moment really stuck with me for the rest of the summer, because he was being genuine. Reflecting back on this moment now, I realize how genuine the whole summer was. From the campers, to other counselors, and the rest of the staff, everyone was incredibly genuine.
That’s something that over the course of my two years at FLC has made it so special. Forest Lake is a special place because when you’re there, you’re the best version of yourself. You’re genuine to those around you, and most importantly you’re genuine to yourself. It’s a place where, if you choose to, you can be as crazy and wild as you want. You can have nerf sword fights on the hill, pretending to be a samurai warrior, or wear a dress and green paint on your face and pretend to be the gorgon Medusa for a day without fear of judgment. When I think of this summer, I think of the laughs that I shared with campers and fellow counselors, the bonds that I formed, but most importantly how genuine everyone was to each other, and how everyone was true to himself or herself. This to me is what is so special about FLC, and what will continue to draw me back every year.
If you are interested in learning more about joining the FLC community as a counselor in Summer 2016, please be in touch. You can inquire by emailing us at [email protected]