I may quite possibly have the best job imaginable. If you didn’t know, I have been working at this pretty neat place in Okoboji, Iowa called Camp Foster since the first week of June and I will be here until the second week of August.
I have always wanted to be a counselor at Camp Foster ever since I was a camper, but I was always making an excuse as to why I couldn’t. Whether that be I needed to do something that would “further my career” or just too plain nervous to do it. This summer has brought challenges, struggles, and at times – pushed me beyond my breaking point. But then I take a step back and remember the real reason I am here this summer – the kids.
This week as we are diving into Session 5, I have come to realize I only have three more weeks left at this magical place I am lucky enough to call “work.” I have had five cabins and 47 campers in total. They have ranged from the ages of 9 to 15. These kids have taught me so much more than imaginable. They have taught me that it’s OKAY to act like a kid- (and now I know everyone has an inner kid somewhere deep inside of them.) They have taught me how to step outside of my comfort zone. That sometimes screaming at the top of your lungs really does get you pb&j bar first. They continue to crack me up with some of the things they say. One campers in particular told me her role model was her cat. She said this because her cat is always “down to go with the flow.” Although this is absolutely true, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to look at my cat the same way.
Last week, Session 4, was Miracle Burn Camp. Miracle Burn Camp is like a camp within a camp; it is the only burn camp that has both burned and non-burned children attending camp during the same week. I was lucky enough to be chosen to have a burn cabin that week. This meant that me and one other counselor had a cabin of 7 girls who were all burn survivors. Hearing these children’s stories and seeing some of them with missing limbs and scars taught me a thing or two about accepting yourself and how every kid deserves to be a kid. I can honestly say Miracle Burn Camp was one of the most eye-opening and inspirational experiences I have been apart of.
With just three weeks left, I have become grateful of the little things inside of the Yellow Sign. Receiving mail from campers who attended in the beginning of the summer. Sending letters back and forth to my Grandma. Getting thrown into the lake because I attend school at Nebraska. Being surrounded by some of the most genuine, caring and positive people I have ever met. Life chats with campers and other staff members. and last but certainly not least, GOD BLESS THE COOKIE AND GATORADE CLUB (thx to all the campers who bought me both.)
You may be reading this wondering why I love this place so much. But trust me, once you pass the Yellow Sign, the magic of Camp is instilled in you for forever.
“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sun beams and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl
/// also shameless plug to WRITE ME! it makes my day/week/summer/hour 100x better. Sending mucho love to those that already have. ///
Claire Wieger, STAFF
PO Box 296
Spirit Lake, IA 51360