“My Heart Feels Lighter When I’m at Teen Camp”

Shae Sennett wrote this piece about camp

“Whenever I talk about OTC (which is a near-daily occurrence), I always end up being asked the same question: What is it about this camp that makes it so special? As a result, I have spent many hours pondering what exactly makes this experience so unique. I’ve come up with a hundred different reasons over time, but the one that I believe lies at the core of all the wonderful things at this camp is the desire to understand and accept.

Very few adults I’ve ever met have wanted to take time out of their busy days to hear about my thoughts, ideas, and perceptions of the world. Even fewer adults have gone out of their way to ask me about these ideas, and still, fewer have continued to hear me out even when these ideas conflicted with their own. These types of intellectual or stimulating conversations were seldom heard in my high school or at social gatherings. I found it difficult to talk to my peers about my deeper thoughts and feelings out of fear that they wouldn’t understand.

At OTC, the opposite is true. Campers, staff, and counselors alike go out of their way to establish connections with one another. When someone feels uncomfortable or sad, everyone around them does everything in their power to make them feel safe and supported. When someone is talking about something they are passionate about, whatever it may be, everyone around them listens intently.

The staff is ready to not only listen to our ideas but respond to them, so the program as a whole is constantly evolving and growing along with us. Not everyone is a radical, left-wing liberal, but everyone is open-minded and receptive to the opinions of others, political or otherwise. People are free to connect without fear of judgment or humiliation, two things that I’ve found have often guided or hindered my social interactions in the past.

My heart physically feels lighter when I’m at camp. All the impression management and pretending and guarding my emotions that felt so necessary in a high school social climate melted away, and I became the person I am today, unafraid to voice my opinions, express my feelings, and connect with those around me.

Although this seems amazing on paper, anything I could put in words is incomparable to what the environment in OTC actually feels like. Check out the camp gallery. 

If you’re considering sending your child here, especially if you feel they have trouble connecting socially in their environment, but even if they don’t I cannot recommend it enough. This place is truly like nowhere else I’ve ever known, and as someone who’s moved around quite a bit in recent years, I am so proud to call it my home.

Wishing you all much love and positivity,

Check out Shae’s video

Odyssey Teen Camp Logo

Odyssey Teen Camp

Odyssey Teen Camp, located in the Berkshires, is a safe summer space for teens to be themselves. Our campers experience the pure exhilaration that comes from being included, honored, and celebrated for exactly who they are. They leave OTC instilled with the confidence to reimagine their place in the world. And they will forever remain a part of the OTC family. OTC offers full summer programming for ages 13 through 18.
OTC Logo

Find Out About Odyssey Teen Camp

A Non-Profit Overnight Summer Camp For Teens Ages 13-18
Located in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.