I want to start off by explaining the name for my blog. Life is Like Camp is kind of a metaphor for how I like to view life. I live my life summer camp to summer camp and all the time in between is filled with thoughts of returning. I have been a camp kid since elementary school, and I still return as a college kid to be a counselor. What I have learned from all the years of camp is that the week or two away really grows you as a person. So, why shouldn’t every day be like that?
At camp, you spend a week unplugged from everything and everyone. My favorite camps were actually the ones where I wasn’t allowed to have any electronics with me. That gave me the opportunity to focus on me and relationships with fellow campers. I made some of my best friends in these environments. The time away is a time to grow. Whether it’s an adventure camp, a church camp, or even a student council leadership institute, the goal is to leave camp a different person. There are lessons taught and learned and time for reflection. The point of camp is really to leave with goals for yourself. Summed up: you recharge, learn about yourself, build meaningful relationships, set goals for the future, and have fun all the while.
No, you can’t have the mountaintop experience of camp every day (this would be the kind of motivated “high” you get from being away). But, since I like to think about camp all the time I tend to try and apply little habits of reflection and mindfulness throughout the year in order to continue growth. No one likes the valley that comes after the mountaintop experience.
I am a stress case. I have terrible anxiety and let little things ruin my day. I focus too hard on the small things and things that are out of my control. Thinking about camp and those memories tend to help me bring a little stress control and relaxation to my daily routine. So that’s what I intend to blog about. I want to share my stress coping habits and the things I reflect on. Kind of a look into my head and how I get through my day. I like to call them habits of mindfulness.
Through elementary school and part of middle school I would attend day camp near my house. These alway shad themes about books (like Harry Potter) or were solely for art and adventure. This camp taught me to love creativity and imagination. It fueled my love for literature and playing in the woods.
Starting in middle school I joined student council. For six years I attended the Missouri Association of Student Councils Summer Leadership Institute. It was a fancy name for a camp where we did team building on steroids, shared ideas with STUCO kids from across the state, and had a whole lot of fun. This grew me in my leadership skills and organization. It also taught me how to build excellent relationships, many of which I have been reunited with in college and get to continue growing.
The camps that shaped me most were through my church. We called it Summerfest because it was a week of close friends, time on Lake of the Ozarks, crazy activities (picture epic food fights and tie-dye with the clothes already on your body), and a lot of time growing spiritually. These were the camps where I really reflected on myself and where I was at in life. It recharged me for the year and set goals for how I should continue growing. It was the kind of place that broke down all the walls I had put up and grew me from scratch again. I continue to go back as a leader and work with younger girls to do the same for them. I will be working at a Christian camp called Kanakuk for a month this summer. These camps taught me how to reflect, set goals, create clean habits for growth, and build meaningful relationships. They are largely why I am who I am today.
So, that’s kind of a premise of the camps I went to and things I picked up from them. I have developed a lot of these lessons learned into habits I try and do regularly. Things like journaling, organization tools, quality time with friends, etc. I also learned to sit and reflect a lot because looking back is often how you move forward. So, those are the things I am going to share with you: my reflections and my habits I have to aim for growth.
Growth and reflection should be a daily thing, and this is why I like to think life is like camp.