Editor’s Note: Each Friday at camp, a member of our Camp Family presents a sermon,
reflecting on their years at camp, last summer Skylar Sloane eloquently shared her thoughts.
When I was asked to write this sermon, I felt nervous and excited. These few minutes, when someone shares their thoughts with camp, were what I looked forward to every week, especially when the Dorm Girls and Club Boys present them. Listening to the wisdom and experience of these campers helped me to make the most out of these 49 days at camp. I wasn’t sure how to convey everything I felt in 1 speech, but here it goes.
The first of my 7 summers began in 2010, when I was a young Dillie. As my brother and I walked off the bus, he returning for his second summer, my nerves exploded. I had been to sleepovers before, but nothing compared to 7 weeks apart from my family. How could I spend time away from the support of my brothers Jake and Mitchell and my parents? Little did I know I would soon find another support system.
I had heard that it is normal to be homesick at first, but it goes away soon. My experience was a little bit different. My homesickness went away, but not so quickly.
As much as I tried to have fun, little things reminded me of home. My group leader at the time, who you all know now as the girls’ head counselor Amy Miller, really helped me through it. She told me that everyone was feeling the same things, and that camp goes by so quickly, so I shouldn’t waste it being homesick. She also said that at the end I would ultimately be campsick.
I began to build the bonds I have today through being homesick. After what felt like forever, I learned how to put my homesick feelings aside, and enjoy camp. I ended the summer the same way I started it. But at the end of the summer I was ALREADY campsick and I didn’t want to leave.
Being unplugged at camp actually helped my homesickness. Whenever I felt sad, I simply wrote about what I did that day and it felt like I was talking to my parents. And when I wanted a physical conversation, my Dorm sisters and Club brothers were always there for me. Being unplugged also brought us closer. Without social media, we are almost “forced” to sit and talk together. We bonded over things that we all had to do. In camp, I expanded my boundaries with my 17 sisters instead of watching movies.
When I was younger, I didn’t appreciate how nice it was that camp is unplugged. Sometimes I wished I could talk to my home friends. But because we were unplugged, when we return home, our friends don’t understand all the memories we made. Home friends are great, but no one is closer than girls who live with each other for 7 weeks each and every summer. You can hate a home friend, but it is impossible to hate one of your sisters.
As my Dorm summer began not too long ago, I saw a quote on my bed. “You can take a girl out of the Dorm, but you can never take the Dorm out of a girl”. This quote is applicable to all of camp. During the other 10 months of the year, most people are out of camp. But the memories made are never forgotten. Camp has allowed me to form the special bonds I have today. They are strengthened every summer, and continue during the winter.
As a Dorm, we represent many states. From Florida to New York and New Jersey, we span many thousands of miles. As written in “Friends”, “love will pervade us tho miles separate us”. Our bonds hold strong while we are apart.
Few of us knew each other before camp, and I honestly couldn’t imagine my life without each and everyone of my Dorm sisters. With them by my side, I know that someone has my back during the highest highs and the lowest lows. Someone is always there to talk no matter the topic.
Whether it is home or camp related, between my 17 Dorm sisters and 17 Club brothers, I am confident that someone is there for me.
Lastly, camp has molded me into the person I am today. Without camp, I would never formed these unbreakable bonds I have made. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to come to camp every summer. I am proud to call myself a Dorm girl of 2016 and can’t wait to continue making memories.
Thank you and shabbat shalom.