Nr. 1 Reason Why Summer Camp is Important for Children
My name is Anastasia. Some of you might know me from your time at Bellnor Summer Camp as the head supervisor, perhaps I was your cabins supervisor or maybe I was teaching you English or if we go even further back, we could have met as kids at Bellnor Camp.
I’ve shared a bit about my experience already (you can read here) but I’d like to emphasis one of the most valuable things that I’ve gain from my camp experience:
As a kid, I was pretty shy and it was very difficult for me to come out of my shell, even tough I wanted to. I had one or two friends and was on good terms with everyone but I honestly didn’t feel like I was being me, more like I was playing a role given to me. Though I did not like it, the problem was that I was already established in the minds of my peers as the shy kid sitting in the back, who speaks quietly. And I did not know what to do to change that.
I got to know that I will be going to Bellnor Summer Camp some time during spring and from that moment I cried almost every day and asked my parents not to take me there. Why?
Because I was shy and being surrounded by strangers who I don’t know seemed very frighting.
By the end of my first day at the camp I never wanted to leave. Getting to know new people was challenging at first but I was so happy that just in a day I already met so many different people. Some of these people were drastically different from me but they still wanted to be friends.
Even though I was just 11 something clicked in my head. I realised that I am not the label that was assigned to me by my everyday small social circles.
In my second Bellnor Camp I met one of my closest friends. 18 years later, many kilometres apart (we live in different countries now) and our friendship is still going strong and will be strong for the rest of our lives.
Would we ever become friends if we didn’t meet at the camp? I, honestly, don’t believe so. We were living in different towns and our friendship circles were very different. The only reason we even spoke was because I shared a room with his friend.
I’ve made other friendships at the camp as well but not all of them lasted as long. I cherish them very deeply, even the ones that ended on bad terms. Those people played a huge role in my life, even if momentarily, they taught me to be myself, accept myself and that the right people will like me for me.
If you are considering going to a camp or sending your child to a camp, do it!
The very first time will be scary and stressful, that’s how it always is with first times. Find a camp that is interesting for your child, maybe they should go with friends if they are very shy, but when they will find the right camp for themselves, they will be asking to go back every year. That’s what happened to me and I’m not the only one :)