Sunday, August 9, 2009

The End of an Era

This weekend, I said "good-bye" to our last bunch of campers for the summer. 9 weeks of summer camp....done. This wasn't just any summer. This was my last summer. This ended 10 consecutive seasons of summer camp employment. If you combine time spent training staff with all the weeks spent with kids, that's 107 weeks of my life. 749 days. 2.05 years. Want to count my time as a camper and a volunteer jr counselor from when I was younger? Then make it 119 weeks. 833 days. 2.3 years.

The list of things that summer camp has given me is endless. Here's a sample:
  • Growth in faith
  • Understanding of humility (anyone need a toilet plunged?)
  • Uncontrollable laughter
  • A deeper appreciation for God in nature
  • Unbelievably amazing friends (nice to have a place to stay anywhere I go!)
  • Strength and courage that I never knew existed
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Leadership skills (based on my observations and personal experiences of how to do it and how not to do it!)
  • Better judgment
  • First Aid/CPR certification
  • Challenge Course certification
  • Outdoor skills
  • A never-ending repertoire of songs and games
  • Dehydration
  • Stitches
  • Sunburn
  • Herpes
  • Just kidding about the herpes
  • Utter frustration
  • Bee stings
  • Possible yet not probable exposure to H1N1
  • Front row seats to incredible summer storms
As long as that list may seem to you, it could certainly go on and on. Maybe this is my last summer ever at summer camp, maybe it's not. But for now, I'll leave you with the various ways that different camps in my life have taught me to say "good-bye" and to remember special times:

Keep coming back
Bye for now
It's just goodnight and not good-bye
I'm the better one for the knownin' of you

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