10 Things I’ve Learned After 17 Summers at Camp Westminster
1. Children and youth take on a new personality at camp. If they arrive withdrawn and shy, they end up leading songs, acting crazy and hugging new friends before they leave.
2. If a child is homesick on Sunday, that child will be the one most likely to cry about leaving on Saturday.
3. Christian community is a very powerful force for good in a young person’s life.
4. Camp songs stay with you and are never really forgotten.
5. Time to be in nature and unplugged is powerful and an amazing gift.
6. People make very close friends at camp who will stick together beyond high school and college. People are very grateful to have had a place to make such close friends.
7. Long distance vision is a rare thing in a person and in life. You can hone your long distance vision at camp worshipping in the open air chapel, looking across the lake or up into the amazingly tall pine trees. The experiences will carry you through the school year and bring you back next year.
8. Every summer at least several counselors will tell me that this was “the best summer of their lives.”
9. In addition to a wider range of skills and higher confidence levels, young people end up with more money working at camp than they do taking a summer job and paying for transportation, lodging, meals and their own entertainment.
10. Camp prepares young people for the world that they are going to inherit.
-Suzanne Getz Bates
Executive Director, Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake