Why Camp Made Me a Better Person

Edie Carneiro, Copy Editor

Picture this: you are nine years old, sprinting out of the bus you were just stuck in for six hours, into one of the biggest, most beautiful places you have ever seen. Little do you know, this is about to become the single most important place in your life.

Okay, maybe that was slightly dramatic. However, that last part could not be more true. Sleepaway camp has impacted my life more than I could put into words, and it has truly made me the best version of myself. I would not trade the lessons camp has taught me for the world, and coming up on my last summer as a camper, my only regret is not spending more time there. It taught me independence and confidence and gave me my favorite people in the entire world. Honestly, I do not know where I would be today without it.

Being away from your parents for almost eight weeks since nine-years-old definitely teaches you how to take care of yourself. We had counselors, but basic things like getting to activities and meals, keeping the bunk clean and conflict resolution was up to us campers. We comforted each other when someone was feeling down, and we had to sort out all our own drama without getting adults involved. Obviously, this was challenging. However, having these real discussions rather than getting our parents to settle petty drama for us not only gave us better social and confrontational skills but gave us insight into opposing views, which not many kids our age considered. We soon became more understanding and open-minded, which are two qualities I still pride myself on having to this day.

Confidence is a very important quality and a great byproduct of being a camper. Being at camp means you can try new activities and be your authentic self without fear of judgment. I cannot even count the amount of “camp moments” I have had, activities that would be “weird” or “dumb” back home, but are viewed as just normal funny experiences at camp. This confidence boost has allowed me to try so many new things I would not normally do, really allowing me to get the best out of my summers. 

Of course, the most influential thing about camp was the incredible friendships I made. Yes, I am fully aware of how cheesy that sounds, but it is true. Living with someone for two months creates bonds so strong I did not even know were possible. We have seen each other at our highest and at our lowest, and it just makes us love each other even more. It really is amazing to me how someone I only see once a year can live across the country, and still feel like a sister to me. I can confidently say that the people I have met at camp have influenced me more than anyone else in my life and brought out the best in me like no one else has. These bonds have taught me about loyalty, trust, empathy, support, acceptance and so much more.