By Lia Messersmith, In-Camp Program Manager

One of the first places you see when you get to camp is your cabin. The cabin becomes your home for the next few weeks. It is a place to connect with campers your age, make new friends, and reconnect with old ones. The cabin is much more than simply a place to put your stuff or sleep after a jam-packed day of adventure. You learn responsibility with cabin clean-up chores, learn conflict resolution by talking out differences with cabinmates and counselors. The cabin becomes a little intentional community with the space to make it whatever you want it to be.

Growing up at camp, I felt the cabin become a safe space. It was a place where I could get away from the hustle and bustle of camp for a bit and have time to myself. It’s where I made some lifelong friends and memories. Spending two weeks every summer living with a group of kids from different places and backgrounds gave me perspective into the world. I learned how to live and thrive in an intentional community. The cabin environment is one of the reasons I came back to camp year after year.

As a counselor, the cabin community allows you to grow in many different areas. It can teach you patience when you have to get campers to settle down and get ready for bed. It can teach you empathy as you support campers who are missing home a little. It challenges you to new levels as you have to change your mindset to care for the wellbeing of the campers day in and day out. But all the challenges are coupled with some of the greatest moments. The moments when there is immense laughter filling the cabin. The moments when you see your campers become comfortable and safe to be themselves. These are the moments that make the cabin so much more than just a place to live.