Hey, Camp Fans!
Continuing our ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest, we’re excited to share each submission on the Blog. Everyone who submitted receives a $15 gift certificate and seven lucky winners will receive larger prizes of $25, $50, and the grand prize of $100. Today features the fourth winner of our $25 gift certificate. And the winner is….
Congratulations, Jacqueline! You’re our fourth $25 prize winner! Jacqueline had a great summer stay at Camp Fern this year as she took a step up into her new role as a third-year MIDI. Read all about it in her entry—chockfull of camp pride!
“Last winter, a friend mentioned that she was planning to send her 7-year-old daughter to Camp Fern over the summer and asked if I was interested in sending my daughter, as well. I was very hesitant. I’m an over-protective mom and had fears about how she would do without me there to help her.
lI talked to the camp directors who reassured me, but, still, I struggled with the thought of her being away from me for so long. To get more information, we attended an open house at the camp in the spring and Catherine absolutely fell in love with the place and insisted on going. So, with a lump in my throat and a knot in my gut, I signed her up and started gathering her camp supplies. Then, on a Sunday morning in early June, my husband and I drove her to camp, unloaded her things, gave her a kiss, and then off we drove.
lI cried for three days and called the director multiple times to ask if I should come get her. The director’s calm response was always the same: “She is shining. Let her shine.” So I stuck it out and poured over the pictures on the web site several times a day, just waiting for her image to pop up. When it did, there she was: smiling, laughing, working hard, having fun, and learning new things.
lLater that month when we pulled up to her cabin for pick up, a completely different little lady ran into my arms. Camp was the BEST thing we could have done for her. She had a new confidence about her. She was proud of herself. Her limits had been pushed and she had proven that she could overcome her fears. She had become independent. She had become a leader. We learned that she had comforted the homesick campers by reading to them at rest time and helping them with their feelings.
lShe had a different swagger about her and a connection to camp that went beyond archery, riding, and canoeing. It was a place where she could become who she didn’t realize she could be, who I didn’t realize she could be. It dawned on me quite quickly that camp was the best thing I could’ve done for ME, as well. It taught me a lot about myself as a mother and deepened my relationship with my daughter. Camp is a magical place that is hard to explain. It’s so much more than activities and crafts and camp fires. It’s about building confidence and fostering independence and opening doors and deepening relationships.
lShe is anxiously awaiting summer 2018 so she can load up her trunk and head back to camp. Next year, she’s staying for the longer session and is planning to win the red feather for her tribe! I’m excited for her and, even though I know I’ll probably cry again after drop off, I know that those few weeks of camp will bring nothing but positives for us both! Thanks to camp for what you’ve brought to our whole family! And thanks everythingsummercamp.com for helping us get her so well stocked for her time away!”
Thanks again for your submission, Jacqueline! We’re thrilled to hear that summer camp worked its wonders on Catherine and that she enjoyed the growing experience so much. And it’s great that you were able to glean some internal wisdom from the experience as well! There’s really nothing that summer camp can’t do so we’re happy to supply the necessary gear. We’re glad it’s appreciated. For anyone else interested in Camp Fern, you can check it out right here.
Tune in next week Monday to hear who won our first $50 winner. Once our winners have been announced they’ll receive an email with the gift certificate code. And, as always, thanks for reading!