Is it just me or did this summer fly by? It feels like yesterday that I was moving out of my freshman year dorm and moving into my first college house. All of a sudden it is August and I am sitting here trying to figure out where summer went! This summer was a whirlwind for me, the reason being that I started a new job. After years of retail work, I started a job as a camp counselor this summer. This job was a leap of faith in my life; I was uncertain, nervous, anxious, but excited to start something totally different.
It all started when I got a call from a woman named Kelly. She left a voicemail telling me that she owned a day camp and that she wanted to know if I would be interested in giving horse lessons and being a camp counselor. When I first listened to it I was in shock, I had to listen to it again to be sure that she had the right name and number. I thought to myself: “A camp counselor? Is this woman crazy?”. I called her back and somehow got myself to agree to an interview for the next day. I pulled into camp the next night around 7 and immediately fell in love. Hidden Pines Ranch is truly a magical place. After my interview I knew I wanted the job, Kelly is an upbeat, loving and beautiful person. She was the type of person I would want to work for.
The thought of being a camp counselor is what scared me the most. I was terrified that the kids would hate me or I wouldn’t know what to say to them or I would just do a terrible job. The weeks leading to my first week were the scariest, I wanted to try to be the best camp counselor but I had no idea where to begin. I never went to camp as a child, so I never knew what a good counselor entailed. I kept thinking that Kelly was crazy to have hired me, I thought she made a huge mistake.
I showed up on my first day of training like a kid on the first day of kindergarten. Ready to learn and figure out this whole “camp” thing. After that first day, I never wanted to leave. I couldn’t wait to spend another day laughing and being goofy with my wonderful new coworkers. This was my foreshadow to the summer, a whirlwind of craziness, laughing until we cry, weirdness, and overall fun.
Working at Hidden Pines didn’t even feel like a job, I felt like I was getting paid to go to camp for the first time. I loved waking up and going to work each day. I felt like everyday I touched a kid’s heart in some way and that was so rewarding. I got to watch kids grow as riders; going from being terrified to trotting around the arena on their own. I got to watch my campers take care of one another; asking if they are alright or making them feel better when they were nervous or sad. I got to laugh with kids; I became more comfortable as the summer went on so I could have fun with all the kids at camp. I was blessed with the best summer I could ask for.
I will attach some pictures of just some of the fun we had all summer. Hidden Pines Ranch truly was the best “job” any kid like me could ask for. On the last day we cried as those kids pulled down the driveway for the last time. They became our buddies and our little people, and they were so loved and also loved us. Camp is all fun, games, and love.