On behalf of the counselors of Che-Na-Wah we would like to propose a toast to the summer of 2012. We all love being counselors here, but each of us takes away something different. As the five of us were trying to verbalize what camp means to us, and how to put it into the toast, we realized that not one moment or feeling can summarize camp for all of us. Whether it is jumping in the lake, or the feeling of watching your campers overcome a challenge, each aspect of camp impacts everyone in a unique way, which makes every counselors experience special.
What we can agree on is that camp is the one place where you can walk down the path, and know every single person. This is the one place where everyone knows something about you, and you know just as much about them. Age does not serve as a barrier for friendships, and the fact that you are never actually alone here holds more influence on your seven weeks than we can full grasp.
We would like to thank the administration for making all of our summers here possible and unbelievable. After 12 or 13 summers here, it’s impossible to sum up what camp has given to us in just a few paragraphs strung together with pretty descriptions of the lake and the mountains. Che-Na-Wah has been the one constant in all our formative years, which has transformed each of us. Even as we maintain our individuality, we have developed another part of our character that is only possible because of camp. We can be our weird selves here, the people we were always meant to be but didn’t know how to be at home.
In years to come, the girls in Bunk 2 will be in 22, leading camp through blue and gold, services, and singing in the dining room. During our Upper Senior summer, this year 22 lived in Bunks 6 and 8. Watching them grow into the leaders that they have become over the past 7 years has not only been a pleasure, but also a symbol of t he life cycle that takes place in this bubble.
In no other situation do you get to experience such monumental growth, watching as the generation after you maintains the traditions that were once passed on to you by your own counselors. We can’t wait for the waitresses to help continue this pattern as they become counselors and shape the lives of future campers. Its not that our lives are all about camp, its that camp IS life. It is the perfect representation of what happens. From firsts, to lasts, to everything in between, camp has brought true meaning to the phrase “full circle.”
We are the luckiest. Take a look around you right now, and try to understand what you have. Deep down, you know just how special this is, even if you can’t quite put it into words. Somehow, someway, these past seven weeks have come and gone. It is hard to accept, but look on the bright side, realize that we’re learning a life lesson earlier than most. All things, good and bad, eventually come to an end. That’s honestly the way time has to work. But if you spend that time with the people who you love, and who love you more than anyone else in the world, everything will be okay in the end, because that’s what life is about, and that’s what camp is about too.
-Sydney, Emmy, Lillie, Rachel, Lauren