I’m pretty positive I’ve written about the reasons I go to camp at least ten times.
We’ve reached the point of the year where every day on lunch I’m writing lists, going over bible curriculum, ordering things on Amazon and scouring my notes app and text messages to figure out things that we said last year we needed for this year.
I get on a plane in 30 days.
First off, I haven’t seen any of these humans in a year. It’s just how my year ended up- I haven’t been able to go to California and I’m probably going to cry when I land at John Wayne airport. Necks to hug and babies to meet and meals to eat around the Choi’s table.
Second, I just love camp.
And third, I can’t wait to wait to eat camp food (two truths and lie).
Today, I was sitting after finishing one of the parts of my job (cooking for the tiny humans) to do another part of my job, when I told Joanna that I just feel heavy. And I need to do something that brings me joy.
So, I decided to come to one of my favorite bars and sit and write and stir up the things inside of me that need a little wake up.
And talk about camp.
Last year was my tenth year going to camp since the first time I went in 2010. I started as a counselor and now I’ve popped between different staff positions with my title last year being “breakfast club coordinator”. I’m usually on the drama team, I teach Bible, I help with the 11 year olds, I was the asst. coach for a few years, and I now anywhere I go around camp I’m met with “Miss. Meg can I tell you a bible verse?”.
I guess, I should circle back a moment: if you have never read or seen anything about me talking about to camp- every year I spend a week “up the mountain” with some of the best humans I know hanging out with foster kids in one of the 250 chapters of the non-profit, “For the Children” (or as most of us call it: Royal family kids camp). Camps pop all over the country (and parts of the world) to spend a week loving and having fun and spending time with foster kids. At camp the ratios are essential 2 adults to 4 kids with many other staff adults at various activities and roaming.
There is a lot of fun, busyness, laughter and joy.
We have a birthday party and a variety show, there’s a woodworking area, a dress up corner, an awesome activity section with so many fun arts and crafts and projects. There are therapy dogs and pool time everyday. There are special activities with our camp grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles. Each kid leaves with a scrapbook of their adventures, a duffel of projects and birthday gifts and lanyards and I think a little more love than they had before.
All of us adults and teen staff are volunteers. All of us take a week away from work, some from their kids and family. At my specific camp a lot of us have moved out of state but fly back to go to our camp.
It’s a tiring, over 22,000 steps a day, iceberg lettuce eating, emotional week.
And for me, it’s the week, that no matter how tired I am, no matter how hard it is, no matter how few showers I get, no matter if Tyler makes me go on the zip line or even if it’s the week that I was known as the “mean counselor meg”; camp is the week that I feel as if I am operating 100% out of exactly who I am meant to be.
There is a slogan ,if you will, with FTC camps and it’s this: Make Moments Matter.
Because at camp, all we have are moments.
Thankfully, now, there is mentoring program and ways that we are more continually able to have relationship with these kids.
But, it is still those moments at camp that matter.
And for me, part of my why at camp, is about saying yes, for the kids, for a week.
A lot of these kids don’t get a lot of yes. They don’t get a lot of adults who are saying yes on their behalf.
So even if it’s just for a week- I will do my damndest to do be the adult that says yes.
(Even though sometimes it’s ‘hold that thought’ and I have to write a name down so I circle back to the yes).
Sometimes the yes is really simple; like getting in the pool or sitting at dinner.
Sometimes the yes almost gives me a heart attack; like doing the zip line (that being said- at volunteers this year?)
But always, ALWAYS, the yes creates a moment.
Always the yes allows me a time to stop for the one.
Always the yes lets a kid know that THEY matter.
And always my yes, hopefully lets a kid have an opportunity to be something they always should be able to be:
My goal at camp, with every child I interact with, is to let them know that they are loved, they matter and they can do great things.
Do I care if a bible verse is verbatim?
Do I care if I play Haman and the kids boo me?
Am I good at all the arts and crafts at activity center?
But, did I sit last year for 45 minutes helping a girl do a beaded animal because she needed help?
Camp is my favorite week of the year and I can’t wait to lug my two bags full of a super soaker and water shoes and stickers and props and so many other things to spend a week with a group of the best people in the world and a 80+ kids who are need of some adults who have the ability to say yes.
If you’ve made it this far there’s a few things you can do:
*You can follow my specific camp on Facebook or Instagram for updates before and during camp.
*You can check out our Amazon wishlist of things we are looking for to continue making a beautiful, fun week at camp for our kids
And last but certainly not least, you can partner with us to help send some kids to camp! Camp costs add up and we need all the help we can! Donate here💜
Thanks for getting to the end of this, thanks for your support and love and be on the lookout for more things about camp as we get closer.
With so much love,