by Rick Worrell, Lake Stockwell Day Camp

As we close out Session 2 at Lake Stockwell Day Camp, I consider the importance of the role that camp plays in our lives. I have two children who have attended camp since they were five. Both attended Stockwell, Ockanickon, and Matollionequay. My son, 17, is now a counselor at Ockanickon, the boys overnight camp. My daughter, 11, goes to both Stockwell and Matollionequay, the girls overnight camp. Like many of your children, they couldn’t wait to get to camp each day. Whether it was friends, counselors, or activities, they were always excited to get to camp and to stay as long as they could. For that, I am grateful because it meant that they were having a great experience.

But it’s more than an experience. Something “magical” happens at camp. For my son, who was a far cry from the outgoing person he is today, camp provided a place for him to be accepted for his differences. He’s not athletic, artsy, or into the Challenge Course. But camp provided people and a place for him to become his best self. My wife and I always wished that when he came home from either camp, that we could bottle the self-esteem that developed here and dose it out throughout the school year. I hope that you see this in your children, too. While camp is a place to spend your day, playing in the woods, we are also a place where kids can be themselves. They can build self-esteem and become the best person that they can be. It takes time, but we see it in your children, our campers. We see them grow, mature, and become great young people.

Thank you for allowing our counselors to support your children as they grow. That is what makes camp important to me.