It might not be the time for gifts under the tree nor is there snow falling from the sky but January still feels like the most wonderful time for me. The year turns over and that means the next summer is that much closer and it is also the time when I get to meet so many new families that are interested in their child attending Camp Twin Creeks.
I try and meet as many new families as possible prior to the summer to help them appreciate what camp will hopefully do for their child. By meeting a family, in their home, and also their pets more often than not, everybody feels as comfortable as possible as the relationship between the parent, the child and us, the camp, starts in such a positive manner.
Questions get asked by child and parent alike and it is always exciting for me personally not truly knowing what to expect. Regardless of the questions asked and answered, my goal is that everybody is a little (or a lot) more excited for the summer when I leave the house!
So if you’re considering camp this summer, live in the metro DC area, or anywhere within a few hours drive of my winter home of Philadelphia, please do not hesitate to reach out and request a home visit. I have never been know to turn down an invite!
On a Sunday afternoon in July 2002 I called my best friend Lindsay for a playdate. Her mom answered the phone she said Lindsay had left that that morning for Camp Twin Creeks and wouldn’t be home for two weeks. “Oh okay,” I said with disappointment. I told my mom that Lindsay couldn’t play because she was away at Twin Creeks. “Oh that’s the camp I heard about, maybe next year you can go.”
Two weeks later, Lindsay came home and I went over to her house that night for dinner. She couldn’t stop talking about all her camp friends and all the great experiences. She kept leaving the dinner table because all her new camp friends called.
Hmm, maybe I would consider camp?
Fast forward to January 2003 and I was signed up for my 1st year at Camp Twin Creeks!
My first year at camp I cried every day because I missed home but nonetheless, I had a great time. Camp must have done something right because I was a camper for six years then became a junior counselor, a cabin specialist and then a group leader. I’ve spent half my life with Twin Creeks and I am the person I am today because of my experiences. While I could write a novel about how Twin Creeks has positively influenced my life I’d like to highlight a few of the many skills I have gained because of camp.
Because of Twin Creeks, I gained an appreciation for nature and spending time outside. The West Virginia scenery and fresh mountain air is therapy to me.
Because of Twin Creeks, I learned how to live with other people and be away from home. Camp’s communal living structure prepared me to live with other people and made the transition to college and moving into my sorority house easier. Plus, I got my money’s worth out of my Crocs because I could wear them in the showers at college!
Because of Twin Creeks, I acquired cultural awareness. What sets Twin Creeks apart from other camps is that there are many international counselors and campers. I loved learning about different cultures and what life was like for girls my age in different countries. Counselors and campers are from Scotland, Australia, England, Dominican Republic, France etc. Camp promotes acceptance and celebrates diversity. Did you know that a jumper is a sweatshirt in England? Or that bubbler is a water fountain in Australia?
Because of Twin Creeks, I learned how to unplug from technology. We live in such a fast paced world and are always connected to our gadgets. It’s an amazing feeling to escape to a place where there is no cell phone service and you feel disconnected with the world for a little bit. While many people may find this a problem, I think it’s a blessing.
Because of Twin Creeks, I’ve cultivated lifelong friendships. Trust me when I say, your camp friends become your best friends. The experiences you have with your camp friends you just don’t have with other friends. I’m closer with my camp friends who I only spent a few weeks in the summer with than friends who I saw everyday from home.
Because of Twin Creeks, I was provided role models and learned how to be someone’s role model. Like school or a sports team, camp is another platform where kids can have positive role models. My counselors taught me values and were people I trust; I wanted to be them when I grew up. As I became a counselor, I was able to give back and be that role model who I had once needed which is a very rewarding feeling.
Because of Twin Creeks, I was challenged to push outside my comfort zone and gained confidence. I was never a kid who wanted to try new things but the positive environment that camp fostered encouraged me to try water-skiing, zip lining, hiking and going on an overnight.
Because of Twin Creeks, I gained the foundation to become a leader. Whether it was being an Olympic Leader, a CIT or a Group Leader, my experiences taught me how to communicate, delegate, and be resourceful, and open-minded. From this experience, I went onto serve on multiple executive boards in my sorority and in Greek life. If it were not for Twin Creeks, I wouldn’t have been prepared to serve in those leadership positions.
Woah, just home from walking the dog and listening to this Podcast from ‘NPR; This American Life‘ about the social media lives of teenage girls. Very interesting and informative so I wanted to share.
Obviously many of you are living this very life with campers in your home and none of this will be news to you but for those of us with younger children a report like this certainly lets us know what we have to look forward to.
And, throughout my listening to this article, it struck me that the older girls at camp seem to relish the absence of social media in their lives for the 2 short weeks they spend at camp. It’s just a shame that there is no foreseeable way that it could be removed from their life for the other 50 weeks of the year.
I wanted to share a recent email message that I received from Dawn Ewing, a longtime dear friend and also the Executive Director of Project Morry. All of us at Camp Twin Creeks support Project Morry in a number of ways year round and campers and families have been a fantastic support too. Please read what Dawn sent to us and know that they are always open to any kind of donation.
It’s the time of the year to think about being thankful. And, at Project Morry, we have so much to be thankful for. As we look back on the past 20 years, we recognize the impact Project Morry has had. We also recognize that it has come with the help of wonderful partners like you.
We have been able to make a difference in so many lives and for that WE are thankful. How have you helped our kids? Just look below to see the impact you are having on us.
95% graduate high school, 85% attend college or university, 91% secure a degree and a 81% retention rate over our 9-year program
We are so grateful for your camp’s support of Project Morry.
Tuesday, December 1st is Giving Tuesday! So, in the spirit of giving, I would like to ask for your help in reaching out to your camp families to ask them to share the “Gift of Camp” to make a difference in someone’s life. If you could post these statistics on your Facebook page and ask your camp community to support Project Morry on this day of giving, their donations will help us continue to make a difference in so many lives. Please post a link to our donation page http://www.projectmorry.org/donate/.
We’re back from camp, Chloë and myself, and we had a great trip! It was so impressive so see what has been going since we all left in August AND what is planned for the rest of the year. Thomas, Josh and JD are almost ready to finish the roof of our new cabin on Girls Main Village, they have also started to brighten up our Theater interior with pine paneling throughout. That addition will make a breathtaking difference to the look and feel of that grand old building!
Dirt and rock are in place in the Shire to start the foundation for the new shower house, and an additional water tank will be added to make sure our plumbing infrastructure can handle the new facilities. There is also already a new split-rail fence by the Dining Hall making that area more attractive and safer too.
Needless to say, it’s going to be a busy winter for everybody down at camp and I look forward to sharing more news and pictures with you as the months go by and the summer gets closer! For now, from Chloë and myself, stay warm and have a great day!