When one thinks of ‘Summer Camp’, the image that comes to mind is one of pristine lakes, marshmallows on the bonfire, late-night slumber parties, and adventurous day trips; the picture-perfect life.
That turned out to be precisely what camp is.
Tucked away, in a far corner of Maine, nestled between the trees and the hills, is a wondrous place called Hidden Valley Camp. There, is where I spent 10 of the most carefree and joyous weeks of my life.
In the mornings at Camp, I rotated between a variety of jobs – acrobatics, singing or pottery. I specialised in high ropes, spending pretty much every afternoon either up a tree, catapulting children down a zip line, or belaying from the ground as the kids climbed up into the tree canopy. With no prior experience other than a bit of rock climbing here and there, I was rather nervous to be going into 10 weeks of teaching, but a four-day training course prior to the campers’ arrival turned us all into pros.
We would have one period off each day, during which we would make the 10 minute trek to the camp’s private lake, and we’d spend a blissful hour, splashing in the water and laying around in the sun.
Lunchtimes were spent out in the backyard, listening to the campers share stories of what they had been up to each day. After lunch was an hour of rest. Nice for some. Not so much when your cabin is comprised of 15 nine-year-old boys, as mine was. Achieving just 10 minutes of quiet was a huge accomplishment. Every day they were inventing some wild new game for us to join in on. There was never a dull moment.
Evenings and ‘lazy days’ were filled with the CRAZIEST activities imaginable. We were either throwing eggs at each other, making whipped cream hairdos, or being pummelled with tomato juice.
The greatest thing about camp is that you get to share the summer with some of the best people in the world. Every second of every day is filled with something new and exciting and you get to share these moments with the most amazing people. When the summer is over, the goodbyes are the hardest goodbyes imaginable, but you can feel confident in the fact that no matter where you are in the world you will always have a friend you can call on.