Friday, August 2, 2013

Week 3: Relationships in Communities

“Life is short, live it. Love is rare, grab it. Anger is bad, dump it. Fear is awful, face it. Memories are sweet, cherish them.”

When I first pulled up to the gates of Victory Junction, everyone told me that it was a place more magical than Disney World. As a child that grew up loving all things Disney and counting down days until we returned to my favorite place on earth, that was a high standard for them to live up to. After 8 weeks at camp, I now understand that Victory Junction has way more magic in its own special way.
I am one of 85 counselors that are working camp for the summer, along with 4 unit nurses, 5 full time staff, and between 40 and 60 volunteers that switch each week. However, more than any other team I have worked with, these people have come to feel like a family. It has been awesome to see the way that relationships have formed, both during camp sessions and on our breaks in between.

We have moved cabins three times this summer. Two weeks together during orientation, four weeks for the first half, and then five weeks for the second. It has given each counselor the opportunity to work with three completely different groups of people. It has been both challenging and rewarding to get to see how successfully different groups of people work together and adapt to make it work. I, however, am one of four staff who moved out of our original cabin into a different one for a week. Week three, sickle cell week, there were significantly more girl campers who signed up to attend than boy campers. Enough that camp was going to have to close down an entire boys cabin because there were not enough of them to fill it. The full time staff made the decision that for that one week, the boy’s cabin would become a girl’s cabin so that more campers would come and the cabin would still be used. Four of us were selected because of our leadership and flexibility to leave our cabins and move in together to give these girls the camp experience. It was a really big challenge for me, to leave the group of staff I loved and worked with like a well-oiled machine, to join a group of almost strangers. However, we were able to pull together like a team and rock it! The girls had an incredible week and really felt the love VJ has to offer.

 have made friends in these few weeks that mean more to me than I could ever imagine. As the summer begins to draw to a close, it is crazy to look back at where I came from and see how much has changed. I have had deep and meaningful conversations, light and silly conversations, and conversations that fall somewhere in between, but all have made me think and challenge myself. These are relationships that I know will stay with me.

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