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AUG. 8, 2014

Reflections on the Camp Community

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Tyler K., Counselor

It wasn’t until I hopped in the car and had 8 hours to think that I truly realized how much camp affected me this summer. As someone who had never been to Eagle’s Nest as a camper or JC, but as someone that came in for the first time as a counselor, I feel like I had a truly unique experience. There were many lifelong memories made, including Giving Day, an awesome Final Banquet, planning air guitar with my cabin, Tribal Hikes, stargazing, frolicking in waterfalls, swing dancing in the garden, and taking trips up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, among many others.

Throughout this summer, according to returning counselors, there has been far more emphasis on the five core vales of Eagle’s Nest: Nature, Confidence, Compassion, Joy, and Community. At Eagle’s Nest there are so many ways that community is fostered: tribes, cabin groups, table families, within activities, and so on, but the one I especially want to focus on is the staff community. We spent a ton of time talking during staff orientation about the type of community that we wanted to create, which was an intentional community based on joy and compassion that could change the world if we followed our dreams. I think all of us new staff members were a bit skeptical of this utopian-like community, but what is so neat about writing this retrospectively is being able to say firmly and without a doubt that we accomplished and manifested this type of community.

I can picture countless images that demonstrate how we actually acted on our words. We fostered a community of mateship that changed the world by impacting the youth of the future. In addition, this staff was like one huge family that always had each others back; you never felt like you were walking alone. One of the hardest things I have had to do is leave this staff family after growing so close with them this summer; I’ll admit I choked back a lot of tears (and let many through) on the way home. It absolutely broke my heart to have to say goodbye to wonderful staff family knowing that we all might never be in the same place at one time ever again.
I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to live and work with this community for the past 10 weeks. I will do everything in my power to return next summer and this family is the number one reason why.