To Go to Camp, Or to Not Go to Camp

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Emma Carroll writes, It’s the beginning of summer and your parents are busily packing duffels and assuring you that you will have so much fun.

It’s the beginning of summer and your parents are busily packing duffels and assuring you that you will have so much fun. You sit wondering why they are forcing you to expose your skin to swarms of mosquitoes, sleep in grungy cabins, dive in to murky lakes, and meet a bunch of people who you never even knew existed. Sound fun? Not from tons of kids points of view. Your parents have already handed out your mailing address to everyone, including the milkman and the cashier at the grocery store. Your parents are excited for you to go and you could care less. Summer camp sounds terrible.Summer camp takes a lot of getting used to. You need social skills to cooperate and get along with all your counselors and cabin mates. You need to be willing to try new things and to keep trying. You need to be ready to take on challenges and earn awards. You need to try to be part of your camp community. You need to have a little bit of optimism so that you’re pleasant to be around and can get over your homesickness quickly. Camp takes a lot of skills from you.Though the infirmary has many medicines, none of them can cure the number one camp-borne disease: homesickness. It affects first time and seasoned campers. It can happen at any moment and make you burst in to tears. It can happen once during camp or more than four times. You want to be hugged and in your own bed. You miss your friends and family and all the stuff you could be doing with them. Oh, the unfairness of it all. Homesickness is easily cured, however. The great thing about homesickness is once you get busy, you don’t give it a second thought. Camp gives you a chance to achieve awards that are better than that A on your English test. You can work for awards in the activities you try. Maybe you are dead set on getting your award in archery, or maybe you are having too much fun to concentrate on an award in riflery. Awards that you earn prove that you can succeed at an activity. Awards are one of the great parts of camp because they give you something to aim at and something to be proud of yourself for.The people at camp vary in personality. You can’t expect them to be little angels or devils all the time. You’ll meet a ton of different people that will either like you or won’t. The people that you meet will make your camp experience. You also have to be nice, fun to be around, and go out of your way to make friends so that you can find great people who will make for a great camp experience.Camp is a great way to find new things you love and are good at. You might find that you love horses or are especially good at sailing. The more you try different activities, the more fun you will have.Be ready to try new things and make new friends. Be ready with everything that you’ll need for camp. Be ready for anything camp throws at you, and you might just have the time of your life.