Catholic Things

How A Catholic Camp Changed My Life

Hi guys! Let me set the scene for you: summer 2017. The summer between my junior and senior years of college. A camp in western Kentucky. I had had conversations with people before this summer about working at this camp, but I had brushed it off. In fact, in the fall of 2016, I had applied for an internship somewhere else that would take place during the summer of 2017. And this internship seemed like it would be right up my alley. But after some time, I ended up not being one of those chosen for the internship. And I might’ve had it in the back of my mind that I needed to be doing something during that summer. And I knew that this camp in western Kentucky was an option. So I thought “why not.” So I applied in the fall. I went to an interview weekend over Spring Break. And in the time between my application, the interview weekend, and when I got the letter with the camp’s response, I was kind of on the fence about wanting to be on staff. Sure, I thought it would be great, but I wouldn’t be heartbroken if I wasn’t offered a spot on the staff. But when my mom told me that the letter from camp had arrived in the mail box at home, she read it to me. And in it, I was offered a place on the staff for that summer. And I felt excitement at having been chosen for this spot. And I pretty much knew that I was going to say yes. During staff training (a couple of weeks before campers arrived), I wondered what I had gotten myself into. It all seemed overwhelming and I was wondering if I was going to end up being a good fit for the job. And I brought this up to my boss. And he seemed to have faith in me and my ability to fit the role placed in front of me. As the summer progressed, there were some days and weeks that were more difficult than others. But it was all worth it. When I came to camp at the beginning of the summer, I recognized very few of the other staffers. But when the summer camp season was over, I left the camp grounds knowing those people would always have a place in my heart. And over the course of the summer, they were able to see in me things that (at the time) I couldn’t see in myself. They also helped me come to know another part of my identity. When the summer started, I wasn’t really comfortable with showing who I am on the inside with the outside world. I was very much the quiet and shy type. But this job and the people I worked with made me more comfortable with who I am and showing the more quirky sides of myself. And that was just the beginning of it all. In the two years since my time as a camp staffer ended, I’ve come to own and be more comfortable with the person they saw me as at the end of that summer. And I think I’ve even developed that even further in the time since. I will always have a special place in my heart for my staff and our camp. And I hope that I’m not (and won’t be) the only one whose life has changed for the better because of that camp. -Victoria

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