If it wasn’t for you, I would have never worked at camp. I would have never met some of the best friends. I would have went to Western Michigan University. I would have never spent the last seven summers of my life in Michigan. I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
As a camper, I looked up to you. I studied how you captured the attention of all campers around you, and made our week the most memorable week of our life. I don’t know if you realize the impact that you had on so many lives of campers, on future staff members, and me. You embodied the camp spirit, the camp attitude, and Wakeshma traditions. Not only did you make an impact on our one week that we camped, but you made an everlasting impact on our future decisions.
When I decided to work at camp, I often would think about you and what you would do in a situation. What would Milton do? This thought and many thoughts like this guided my decision making process throughout my first three years as staff. During my fourth year, you came back and I was given the opportunity to work alongside you. My admiration for you only grew stronger.
I want to thank you for all of the years I was able to learn from you. I learned how to work with children from you, how to capture an audience, how to mentor counselors, and what to do when making a tough decision. I learned how to ignore what others think of you and trust your gut decision. I have never told you this but you helped make me the person I am today and I am forever grateful. Camp is such a large portion of my life and I have you to thank for that.
An Invitation: Today I wrote to someone from my past who I feel like shaped me as a person. In some way, they changed my life for the better. I invite you to try the same. Try to think of someone from outside of your home, a coach, a teacher, a camp counselor, a mentor of some sorts, even a friend. Write a letter to that person, thanking them and explaining how they affected you. If you are writing to an actual friend who is at Burley, please just address it, “Dear Friend” and avoid using specific names.