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One Day Closer To Summer

The coldest darkest days of the year always make me think, if not reverie the summer. I guess with my work organizing the AOTS (As One That Serves) Youth To Camp Project I have found that it is the best time to start thinking about the summer and organizing your troops to see how many youth that you can help go to camp.

A lot of service clubs want to help out kids by sending them to summer camp but they don’t usually think about it until April or May when the camps are already being booked for the summer. I think it is always good to have a little reminder this time of year, about how powerful one week at a summer camp can be for a child.

I spent two summers as a camper at a United Church camp. It was just one week but I can still remember every little detail; the crackling fire on the overnight, the singing at the meals, the moving vespers, the swimming and canoeing, the dynamic counselors, the cabin rivalry and all of the full camp activities.

The experience left such an impression on me that I had to go back for the Counselors in Training program the next summer. I was then a volunteer counsellor for two years and then made it to staff counselor. I didn’t want the experience to fade away too soon so I came back as Games Director and Tripper.

What a fantastic learning experience this was for me and I have memories and friendships that will last forever. Not only did I learn to be a leader and teacher but I also learnt about myself and my spiritual growth.

Being a youth now a days is a lot harder and challenging than years ago. They are bombarded by media and television and movies and music. It is a fast paced society and the youth of today know a lot more about the world around them than we ever did.

There is a real need for good old fashioned community grounding in a camping setting that allows them to sit back and look at the world without all of the computer games and internet filling in every extra minute they have.

Is there anyone out there that has some inspiring camping experiences as a camper, a counselor or just helping out your local camp? I would really like to hear your stories.

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