My First Time at Camp Echoing Hills
Reflecting On Being a Counselor That First Summer
My first time being a camp counselor at Camp Echoing Hills was in 2021. Becoming a counselor was an easy decision for me.
As I shared last month, I had worked at Community Living of Northeast Ohio before coming to camp. Several of the individuals I served attended camp as campers. They would return home and share stories of the fun they had. I heard about hay rides, swimming, talent shows, and countless other activities. More importantly, I saw the smiles on their faces and the joy in their heart upon returning. I knew then and there that I wanted to be a part of camp.
As soon I came to camp that first time, I knew I had made the right decision. The campus is beautiful. Hillsides, trees, and open skies as far as you can see. But, more importantly, the camp is full of accessibility for individuals with disabilities. You don’t go to many places where this is the case. We can serve many campers because of this!
That first summer was fantastic, but it was not without its challenges. Unfortunately, we were short-staffed, in large part due to the pandemic. Despite this challenge, we all became so close so quickly. We supported and encouraged one another. We bonded and worked well together, allowing us to provide the ultimate experience for the campers.
I loved seeing campers in the swimming pool. Some individuals had never been in a swimming pool before because of accessibility issues in their community pools. Campers were smiling, and their bodies were freely moving – you could see the peace and joy it brought. It will forever be one of my favorite memories!
One experience from that summer stands out to me. One week, I was serving a camper that loved frogs. When I say loved, I mean LOVED, all caps! One night, after all the campers were in bed, I found a frog outside our cabin. I knew I had to catch it so I could show her! So, with the caught frog in my hand, I went inside and woke her up. She was so excited! In the excitement, the frog got loose, hopping all over the cabin. The hopping, and her laughing, woke everyone up! It was all worth it, though, to see the smile on her face and the laughter from the other campers.
Camp Echoing Hills is truly a life-changing experience. Are you considering becoming a camp counselor for the first time? Jump in, do it! It might seem scary at first, but it’s worth it. The bonds you create with other counselors, and the smiles from the campers you serve, get you through the hard times and create lasting memories.
I hope to welcome you to Camp Echoing Hills next summer! We can “hop” into action together!