In 2002, our first year running OTC a 15 year old boy named Georgios showed. He was a unique, intelligent, free spirited, inspirational young man. Georgios has been coming back to camp the past thirteen years, leading some of the most interesting and vital activities and discussions for teenagers from all walks of life. He has been a wonderful gift to our camp since our very first day of camp. Here are some of his thoughts about Odyssey Teen Camp.
“At Odyssey Teen Camp we are a temporary intentional community, organized around making teens feel safe and supported as they experiment with new ideas, challenge their own assumptions, and make new friendships. The staff and programming at Odyssey Teen Camp is eclectic and changes a little every year, but the mission of camp remains the same: OTC creates a space that temporarily ends and challenges the uglier parts of life: judgement, bullying, materialism, and division, to name a few.
Almost all teenagers can thrive in an environment that discourages judgement and encourages sincerity. It’s pretty common for a sporty and popular high schooler to come to OTC and open up like never before, make lots of friends, play a lot, and grow as a person. Lots of teens who feel trapped in playing the game of being cool and popular blossom in a situation where those social expectations and rules are suspended.
But often the teens that get the most out of camp are the kind that don’t quite fit in at school, the teens that are too weird to be popular, the teens whose fashion choices seem bizarre (but will probably be trendy in 10 years), the teens that are already searching for something more fulfilling than just an ordinary life. There are a lot of unhealthy ways that teenage rebellion and experimentation can be directed – here at camp we focus on channeling that energy in positive directions. We foster a sense of community that honors every kind of camper. At OTC friendships develop between different kinds of teens that would almost never interact in a normal high school social scene.”
So what do you think? Do you want to join Georgios, and the hundreds of young people who call Odyssey Teen Camp “home” for part of the summer? Registration is live now – Click here to get started!