Never too Young (or Old) to Try Camp!
At the Southampton Racquet Club and Camp’s first orientation meeting in June 2013, one of the camp directors told us how being a camp counselor changed his life. He described how special it was that we were part of an inaugural group who would set the standard for all SRCC counselors to come. I never imagined how true his words would resonate after the camp season was over. In May I will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in music performance. I studied opera in college and starting in September, I will be starting my master’s degree in opera performance.
I was placed in the Fireflies group, which consisted of 3-4 year olds. From the first day we met our delightful little campers, I knew I was in for the time of my life! Each day, bright and early, our campers would greet us with the most genuine excitement and energy. I got to watch as some of the three year olds turned four, and even some of the four year olds turn five!
I watched as our campers blossomed into their own unique personalities. One of my proudest moments as a counselor was convincing one of our pickier eaters to try a cucumber, and she loved it! My mother described that kind of satisfaction as one that will last a lifetime. I loved watching the fireflies embrace new campers, making them feel welcome and involved.
I remember feeling so proud of how mature my campers were becoming as they learned how to play tennis and learnt how to swim! One camper, who came to the SRCC with some anxieties about swimming, was able to go under the water and get her hair wet by the end of camp! I knew by August that I was going to miss our little ones, but I never imagined how much! I’ve been keeping a countdown until the first day of the 2014 camp season and I get more and more excited each day! I can’t wait to spend another summer at camp, because believe it or not, the counselors have just as much fun as the campers! We get to meet new people from all over the world and make lasting friendships, just like our campers do. As counselors, we learned how to work as part of a team and have fun while doing it. I still hang out in my old staff shirts that have long since been enhanced by face paint, glitter glue, and grass stains. I know this summer will be another incredible experience and I can’t wait to meet all of our new campers and see some familiar faces!
Working as a counselor taught me that you’re never too young or old to try new things, make a new friend, or face your fears. This fall as I head out to a new school, leaving behind the comfort of a familiar university, I will think of my campers from the Southampton Racquet Club and Camp and how they eagerly met each new adventure with a smile.
Lexi Minogue (current SRCC counselor)