You’re Watching Erica Media! Erica Media, our top notch producer and director of our Media Department spoke last summer to camp, reflecting on her experiences at Towanda.
I would like to start with a quote by a couple of my favorite philosophers, Kesha and Macklemore.
I wish somebody would have told me, babe
Someday, these will be the good old days
I am here to tell you definitively that these are the good old days. The days you spend at camp will be the best, the worst, hottest, rainiest, most exhilarating and most exhausting days of your life. I tell you this based on years of experience. 12 years to be exact, basically my entire adult life. Longer than most of you have been at camp, and longer than many of you have been alive.
I remember the first day I arrived at camp. My parents drove me. I didn’t exactly know what I was in for. It was May, and as anyone who has started at camp in May can tell you, it’s a whole different experience. But instantly I made friends and those friends quickly became family. And as more and more people arrived I greeted them as if I’d always been here. By halfway through the summer we were already talking about what we’d do the next summer and with out much though or debate I was back here the following year, and the year after that, and the year after that.
My role at camp gives me a very unique perspective. All the daily moments that seem routine at camp, those are the moments that become memories, and the best FNF clips. Sitting with friends, laughing over jokes, walking arm and arm, or taking to the stage, playing for a sports team, or trying something new. Of course there are big moments too, like winning rope burning or Girls sing, and I’ll be there to capture those as well. I have the lucky opportunity to interact with nearly everyone on camp, and to watch you all grow. This year’s Dorm and Club I once watched step off the bus for the first time as nervous Debs and Jets. I will admit, I’m still not entirely sure how we got here. As Ferris Bueller will tell you…Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it. I encourage all of you to stop and look around once in a while. We will be here to take the literal picture but take the opportunity to develop your own mental image of some of the moments at camp. Memorize how the sun feels on your skin as you exit the lake, breath in deeply the smell of the courtyard camp fire, listen to the subtle sounds, or not so subtle sounds, in the bunk as you drift to sleep at night. These are the moments that will sustain you through long winter, and eventually maybe years away from camp.
Having listened to many sermons over the years, I’ve noticed that many of them start to sound the same. Everyone talks about the friendships you make and how your group mates, or co counselors, become your brothers and sisters. That no matter how much time passes, a camp friend is a friend for life. Everyone talks about how the lessons you learn at camp, both as a camper and a counselor, will help you in ways you might not even understand until you need them in the real world. Theres a lot of talk about personal growth, over coming fears and finding this place you can call home and how even though you may leave camp, camp never leaves you.
No matter how many times its been said before, its always worth repeating because there’s no way around it, camp is home and we all feel it. As I now consider myself old, and occasionally wise, there are a couple of lessons I’ve learned that I’d like to share with all of you. Don’t let people tell you the things you love are silly. Whether it’s sports or drama or spending ur entire adult life working at summer camp. The quickest way to loose your faith in something is to chose to believe someone who tells you what your doing isn’t good enough. Its often hard to explain to people who haven’t experienced camp what it really is and what it really means. There are two questions I get from people when I tell them my real life job is summer camp. Either they say why? Or they say how?! As in how did I manage to find a job that lets me do what I enjoy most in an environment of love and acceptance and not only do it for two months of the year but somehow finagled my way into a year round job that lets me be me…and be employed. I can’t exactly explain how that happened but I can tell you I’m exactly where I want to be.
I’d also like to share with you a personal life motto. It’s all part of the adventure. When you can look at each day as an adventure than nothing ever really goes wrong. It might go differently than you originally expected but go with it, take in every challenge and see where the adventure leads you. Many of my greatest adventures have been shared with camp friends and even though they don’t always go as planned, its always an adventure. I’ve flown to England, spent Christmas in Australia, where we hit a kangaroo with a rental car, driven across America, in an RV that couldn’t physically go backwards, and again in a mini school bus when it was 110 degree, and of course spent 12 summers at camp with my favorite people and everyday, no matter if its big or small, its all part of the adventure. Be happy. Happiness is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Its not something you can ask for from other people but is often something you can give away and it’s contagious. Remind your bunk mates you love them. Tell them they did a good job. Hug them when they haven’t asked. And keep in mind that someday these will be the good old days.