Natalie, a counselor, sitting in thought

Even after being a counselor at Odyssey Teen Camp for 3 years, Natalie still constantly learns new things about herself and the campers. Here’s what she has to say.

“To me, OTC is a place where people can be as weird, shy, outgoing, athletic, talented, smelly(?), beautiful, ugly, conventional, non-conventional, etc., as they want and not feel any judgment or shame about it.

I’ve been a counselor at OTC for the past 3 summers in a row, and each year, even as a counselor, I learn something totally new about myself. I know that at times I can be an incredibly shy person. Other times I will be the first one up at the talent show tap dancing, singing and scatting my heart out. When I am at camp I feel no shame or embarrassment about needing to be in either place, or anywhere in between.

At camp there is a place for everyone to be witnessed and held no matter what they are experiencing. Whether they are in need of exploring a musical or artistic outlet, practicing their sun salutations or free-throws, playing interpretive house, learning about dreams, consciousness, or LGBTQ issues, or learning how to be outrageously hilarious in sketch comedy, there is a place for it at camp. (You can take a look at our list of activities here).

OTC challenges people to be sensitive, sincere and to soften. It can be so easy to let fear and insecurities prevent us from trying new things and being ourselves, especially when society so often tells us that there is a ‘right’ or ‘proper’ way to do things. And I think many will agree that high school culture isn’t always the most welcoming, or easiest to be in. By surrounding ourselves in an environment that fosters creativity, love and acceptance we are able to bypass those otherwise, potentially debilitating fears and insecurities, and let ourselves be a little bit freer. I believe that OTC brings people closer to who they truly are.

So, if you are a teenager who wants to make new lifelong friends, get away from societal norms, or simply be free to be creative and feel things, come to OTC this summer to find out what this place can be for you. I sure hope to see you there.”

Want to meet Natalie and the rest of the Odyssey Teen Camp family? Check out our Dates and Rates to decide which session you want to join this summer!