It’s now been over 4 months since you left camp (and summer) behind. We’re in the dreary depths of winter, it’s raining and the excitement of Christmas is over. Let’s face it. You miss camp. You miss camp so much it hurts. While you’re stuck in your room, writing essays for uni, or sat at your desk at work, you often find yourself absentmindedly staring out of the window, reminiscing about those beautiful sunny days at camp, playing with your campers, dancing on the tables or just having a good old chat with your friends. Those post-camp blues have well and truly set in, and they are here to stay.
It’s hard when the summer camp bug bites you, and you become totally infected with this entirely unexplainable love and passion and joy that comes from a place where you are doing good in the world, where you are making those kid’s summers the best they can possibly be. Somewhere you feel useful and happy and just like you want to jump up and down with a huge smile on your face all day long. I say it’s hard, because it’s a job that only lasts for a few months of the year. And then you have to go home. And you’re left thinking, ‘well hang on, I loved that, why does it have to stop?‘ And you suddenly find that nothing else holds quite as much magic for you.
You’re not quite as excited about other things, because they just don’t match up to how working at summer camp made you feel. You look for any way to stay involved with camp – you help out at camp events, you get a job working for one of the agencies, you travel back to your camp for a few days in the winter, or you even write a book about it. Anything you can do to hold on to that intense, joyous feeling of summer camp, where you have never felt so at home or like you can be exactly who you are, without worrying what other people think.
And you often find yourself in the middle of a story about your summer, when you see people’s eyes glassing over – they’ve heard your endless stories before. Over and over again. It’s all you seem to be able to talk about. You’ve lost count of the number of times you’ve heard the words ‘this time at camp when…’ and ‘oh at camp, we do this…‘ come falling out of your mouth before you can stop them. You feel like you have to censor yourself a little bit. Other people just don’t understand. And it’s almost impossible to explain it. You’ve tried. More than once.
Just thinking about camp makes your smile. It makes your heart sing. That time when you danced on the benches. That time a bat flew into your face. That time it absolutely poured with rain and you had to speed around camp on the golf cart making sure all the kids had dry sleeping bags. That time a camper told you that you are her role model. That time you helped a homesick camper make a new friend. That time your day was so long and exhausting that you fell asleep with all your clothes (and even your glasses) still on. That time your friend fell out of her bed. That time. That time. That time.
Endless memories of laughter and fun and pure joy. You’ve never felt that anywhere else before. And you want that feeling back.
But it’s all going to be ok. Because it’s 2016 now. And you are going back to camp THIS year!!! I’ll say it again. THIS YEAR. Summer camp is just a few short months away. For me it’s only about 20 weeks until I head back to my favourite place on earth, and I couldn’t possibly be more excited.