This summer I decided to volunteer at Camp Power as a counselor, because I wanted to be apart of something larger than me. The experience left me humbled, inspired and rejuvenated. Not only was I inspired by my co-counselors, who I was fortunate enough to work along-side with for a week, but the campers themselves gave me more then they can ever know.
Here are 5 things I learned from volunteering at Camp Power:
1) You’re Never Too Old to Go to Camp!
There were times I goofed around, there were times I was serious. Going to camp as an adult and being a counselor is obviously different than going as a kid. Many of us, myself included, never had the experience of going to a sleep away camp as a child. Being a counselor at Camp Power gave me this chance. The days were long and action packed and although my energy was tapped out by 10PM everyday, I was happy I was able to keep up with the kids and be apart of this special community and family we created.
2) Be Fearless
Take a risk. Do something that scares you. While I was at camp I experienced things I never did before. I went zip-lining, water tubing, I crossed over a wooden plank bridge at least 60 feet up from the ground, it was scary. But I did it and never felt more empowered! We forget what power lies in the act of taking chances and doing things that scare us.
3) Never Apologize for Being Yourself
Celebrate your individuality! At camp, we celebrated our individual quirks and didn’t judge one another for being different. There was zero judgment and zero criticism. The judgment free zone we created reminded me that it is our quirks that set us apart from one another. These “quirks” are what help us to succeed later on in life.
4) Be Selfless
Give without any expectation of receiving. To give without the expectation of getting anything back is one of the most rewarding things we can do in this life. In our camp community, there was no “mine”. It was always “ours”. We gave what we had to each other with open hearts and didn’t second guess anything for a second.
5) Don’t Underestimate the Power of Listening
Sometimes, listening is enough. There is tremendous power in the simple act of listening. Listening is one of the most generous things you can offer to anyone, yet it can be the most challenging. Listening is an act of love. When you listen, you are communicating non-verbally that the other person is important to you.
Volunteering at Camp Power reminded me that children are truly wise beyond their years and have so much to teach us. I am thankful to have had this experience volunteering at Camp Power, and can’t wait for next year!