Do campers really develop values and character as a result of Camp? Do they really go home a better person than when they arrived? My answer is ABSOLUTELY! It’s a tough one to prove and many times, the campers themselves don’t realize that they have changed as a result of Camp until years later, but I know it is the truth. I see it more and more every year in our campers, staff, and alumni who have finished their camper/staff time at Camp and have gone off into the world.
Camp has hugely influenced my own character. Last week, I was called for Jury Duty. Let’s face it. No one yells “Wahooo!!!” when they get the summons in the mail. I expected to show up, sit in a room for couple of hours, and then go home. For the second time in my life, I was actually selected for a jury and for my first time, the case actually went to trial. While going through the jury selection process, there were many ways I could have gotten out of being on the jury. I could have answered any number of questions in a certain way that I know would have gotten me out of it, but I kept thinking about the video that they showed us when we first arrived. The video was basically designed to guilt-trip any potential juror from trying to get out of serving for a non-legitimate reason. It talked about our rights and responsibilities as citizens of the United States and about how lucky we are to live in a nation that has a fair judiciary system.
I also thought about what Camp and my family has taught me about integrity. To make a long story short, trying to get out of it (even though I have tons of work to do to be ready for Camp!) was not an option. It turned out to be a very interesting experience. I learned a lot about our court system and many other things as well. While it was inconvenient, I’m glad I did it. I guess Camp has had a pretty big influence on my conscience and that’s not a bad thing. It makes it pretty easy to look in the mirror and feel good about the decisions I make.
Boys Camp Director