The following story comes from Cydnii, a terrific counselor of ours that came straight to Odyssey Teen Camp from studying abroad in Brazil, and fit right into our teen camp family. Enjoy!
“I had never attended the camp as a camper, nor was I connected with any of the other staff members, save for one. I first arrived during the counselor orientation week, a little scared, but mostly unassuming. I was immediately greeted by my new co-workers. Some of the more extroverted ones even stopped what they were doing to run up and exclaim, “Oh, you’re the girl from Brazil!” I had been studying abroad in Brazil for a semester, and it was the warmest welcome I’d ever experienced in a completely new environment, and any nerves I may have felt were immediately replaced with pure joy.
Of all my memories, all of which are cherished, even the ones tinted with sadness, this is one of my favorites: It was the last night of second session, Summer 2014. Even now as I try to recollect the events of that day, they’re completely overshadowed by that night. It was the last night of camp for these campers, and my co-counselor Carla (Hi Carla!) and I had jut finished our end-of-session, super secret ritual with the campers in our cabin. As per usual, we finished well after curfew, and one by one, our girls made their way to their beds, finally unable to refuse sleep’s call. A small group, however, were yet to be visited by the sandman.
And so, we stayed up. Maybe five or six of my campers and I stayed up and quietly chatted until about 3 AM. We snacked on chocolaty contraband Carla and I had snuck in to commemorate our last night together, and simply talked, about everything. About our families, our friends at home, school, plans for the future, memories from the past that had shaped the people we were, crushes, hopes, fears, the universe at large. And laughter. So much, stomach-cramp inducing laughter. A the resident adult, I was asked questions, and tried my best to give advice. Around 3 AM, I eventually remembered that I was in fact the resident adult, and finally ushered the remaining girls to bed. We all hugged, went to bed, and woke up the next day, only to have to pack up everything and prepare to leave.
I miss OTC every day, but one of the greatest attribute about OTC is that it isn’t merely a transfixed place. The spirit of love, and light, of surrendering to the present, the lessons I learned, the experiences I had, the people I met, all of these memories I’m struggling to consolidate now, are with me everywhere I go. And for that, I’m nothing but grateful.”
So, what do you think? Do you want to come and stay up late, getting to know people in a way that’s really not possible outside of camp? We hope so, and truly hope to meet you this summer.
Check out our teen summer camp dates and rates, or contact us now with any questions you might have! You can call Adam, our director, at (845)-546-2126, or email him at email@example.com!