By: Chris Schumacher, Junior Camp Counselor
People have places where they feel at home, feel comfortable, and feel content. To be content with a place means that it emits a sense of belonging. The place could be at home, work, a friend’s home, or in a city. I feel content at the Samuel Field Y Summer Camp.
The Samuel Field Y Summer Camp is located at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds in Wheatley Heights, New York. I work as a counselor for the camp’s youngest children--age’s four to six. This was my first summer working at camp and I couldn’t have asked for a better and more meaningful one. I met both amazing children and co-workers who helped make summer of 2013 my best summer yet.
There is a long list of activities that each division participates in throughout the day; this includes dance, art, music, sports, nature, swim, snack, and sometimes free time. Camp is meant to be fun and that’s just what these activities had in store. With each activity came something different and something that would make time fly by. My days at camp didn’t feel like work; it felt like I was another kid having fun. The hot summer days couldn’t hold us back. Even the worst of rainstorms didn’t stop us from enjoying ourselves. When it rained, we went under the shelter and sang songs and did silly dances to keep the kids entertained while waiting for the buses to come. The kids would laugh and sing along, completely forgetting about the storm that’s going on right behind them. The openness of the outdoors and the freedom to do (almost) whatever you wanted helped some kids open up to others, make new friends (with both counselors and other children), and most importantly have fun.
The feeling of positively affecting a child’s summer and being considered his or her “favorite” counselor made working camp that much better. This job wasn’t about the money; it was more about the experiences and memories you share with the kids. As a counselor, I was there to help make a memorable summer. One day while in the GaGa pit, it was down to both me and one of my children named Dylan. Dylan was one of the youngest of the group and always seemed to not do well during sports games, and never won anything. Seeing that he was happy with himself already being in the final two, I allowed him to get the satisfaction of winning his first ever competition by getting me out with the ball. After winning he was jumping around, all energized knowing he could go home and tell his parents about the memory of him winning his first game of GaGa.
As a camp counselor I learned responsibility, formed new bonds with both children and other counselors, and opened myself up to something new that I never had been a part of before. The best part was helping the kids enjoy their time and make them have the best summer possible. Knowing you helped a child enjoy their summer and knowing you did your job well makes all the difference, and making my time at the Samuel Field Y Summer Camp one to be content with.