Because of Camp...Courtney's Story
"Camp gives you the ability to be who you are and that is something that is hard to do in other aspects of life."
I have to admit that if it weren’t for camp I don’t think I would be the person I am today. We moved a lot when I was a kid and camp was the one place that I felt at home, grounded. I remember the first summer I went to camp, my parents dropped me off on Sunday for my first week of overnight camp. I was that kid who went to a sleep over at friend’s house and half way through the night would sneak out and walk myself home, so my parents fully expected to come get me half way through the week. Surprisingly enough though, I made it through the week. Not only did I make it, but I continued to come back every summer. My parents even made the 12 hour round trip drive to drop me off on Sunday and again to pick me back up on Friday during our brief year of living in Delaware. And for that, I thank them.
I don’t believe I truly understood what it was about camp that kept me coming back until my second year on staff. It was then that I started to realize just how special and inspiring camp can be. Camp gives you the ability to be who you are and that is something that is hard to do in other aspects of life. Camp instilled compassion, enthusiasm and drive in me that I never knew I could possess. It made me see how amazing it is when a child has that “ah-ha” moment, when something just clicks and they learn and grow. It made me want to empower campers to create those moments for themselves so they could gain the same passion for life that camp had given me.
The summer I had to choose to not return to camp was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about camp, mention camp, or feel a slight pang of nostalgia. I have a letter a camper wrote to me one summer that I go back and read from time to time to remind me of what it is about camp that has so much impact. I do know that camp will always welcome me with open arms and that is also something that is hard to come by in life. I said it before, camp feels like home to me. And even though I don’t get to be there every summer, inspiring those moments that I hold so dearly to me, I still know that when I go visit that I’m going home in a sense. And that’s enough to keep my passion alive and my thankfulness for all that camp gave me burning strong.
Courtney Nye, 24
Talooli Camper, 1998-2000
Counselor in Training, 2001-2003
Camp Counselor, 2004-2008
Art Director, 2009