My 700 Acre Summer Office
It may sound cliché, but camp helped make me into the person I am today. I went to Camp Scherman for the first time the summer before entering 2nd grade and that was it for me. I had gone to other camps, but there was something about Scherman that called to me every spring.
I would sit at the table with my parents and go through the book of camps and find the longest session. It didn’t matter what it was, all that mattered is that I was going to camp for as long as possible!
Camp allowed me to be more independent; it taught me responsibility and accountability. I learned the importance of teamwork, conflict resolution, and compromise. These are some of the lifelong “learnables” that I still use to this day.
Camp is the place where girls can come up and make the choice of what to wear - some of those choices would have sent their parents into a fashion tailspin. I was that camper that wore striped shorts and a polka dot shirt because the colors matched! And when I added my shoes and socks and a hat on my head, I was more than pleased with my choices and felt like a success! I loved that my fashion sense was embraced and encouraged wholeheartedly by the staff that I looked up to and wanted to be like.
I remember seeing the camp director sing a song in front of the whole camp, and I remember thinking that I wanted to be able to sing like that. All that mattered at that moment was this song and those that were singing it with her.
I consider myself incredibly lucky. I have an office, a cubical, really, in the city for most of the year. But for the summer, I have an office that extends out over 700 acres. I sleep in a tent and each day I listen to the endless singing of repeat songs, the laughter and squeals that come from the swimming pool, the shouts from the hilltop as the girls realize the echo effect. I see the girls sitting in the shade eating lunch or making lanyards, or the line of horses on a trail ride. At the end of the day, the singing continues, although it is quieter as the staff sing with their campers. We all close our eyes and wait for the sun to come up for another adventure at camp!
I have the distinct honor of taking what I learned as a camper, as a Counselor in Training and apprentice and as a staff member at Camp Scherman, and sharing it with the staff this summer, who will share it with their campers. And from there the cycle of camp magic will continue.
Erin Johnson aka "Maverick"
Camp Scherman Director