First-Time Camper

Posted by Amy Tang

First-Time Camper
Bending over backwards as a CampCare Camp Counselor: Amy Tang, Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Bereavement Counselor

This was my first year and first experience as a Camp Counselor. I will honestly admit that it did take some coaxing from our CampCare Director, Sheila Yousuf-Abramson. Her strong belief in the program sealed my commitment. On August 12, 2015, I boarded the bus to Holiday Home Camp in Wisconsin with a nervous excitement and ready for adventure.

My experience of camp is this story I will share with you about a girl who was a first-time camper. She is a 10-year-old girl who recently moved to the United States following the death of her mother to live with family. She approached me cautiously at first with an ear-to-ear grin on her face, peeks at my name tag and says "I really like your name. This is my first time at camp and I am nervous." The second day, she reported she had the best day of her life. She made new friends and her bunk mates even helped to braid her hair in the morning.

On the third day, she was ecstatic about coming back to CampCare next year. On the last day, she received a hand drawn picture from a fellow camper. With bright shining eyes, she told me "I am going to keep this picture forever!"

This to me is what CampCare is about: coming together in a supportive place to safe keep and share grief experiences for children and teens. Every one of them has suffered the loss of a loved one. Some find their voice to talk about the loss, while others find understanding for their sorrow. I had the privilege of witnessing the profound impact these children have on one another, the new friendships that are made, and the memories that are taken home to get them through the years to follow.

CampCare was both a humbling experience and one that I am so grateful to have been a part of. My favorite moment was the slideshow. Our photographer, Treavor is tremendously gifted in capturing our camper's doing what they do best through his lens.

And finally here is the million dollar question; would you go back to CampCare? You bet! See you next year, CampCare.


Learn more about CampCare on our website.

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