When I was 14 years old, my counselor said something that changed my life. When talking about what camp meant to her, Hannah Christmann said, "Camp is my home, and I am so lucky to call it that."
Five years later, I am in the same spot as Hannah. I'm a counselor at Camp Ernst, and I work tirelessly to devote my summers to camp. While my job might seem like a really cool summer gig, it is also the most important job I'll ever have. Each summer, Camp Ernst has the opportunity to work with over 3,500 kids. I get to lead activities, play games, and hang out with really cool kids for a few months out of the year. I create camp magic and make memories that will last forever, all while contributing to an environment that celebrates individuality and surrounds people with unconditional love. Unsurprisingly, I'm preparing for a career in the summer camp industry. I'm a camp girl, and I always will be. Most importantly, I get to change lives, just like Hannah did mine.
When I was 14 years old, Hannah made me realize that camp could be my home too. At the time, I didn't realize what a privilege it was for my family to be able to easily afford the price of camp. When I asked my mom if I could go, she was more worried about me becoming homesick than how we were going to afford it. It was when I got older that I realized how lucky I am to call camp my home. For many families, paying for camp is not a feasible option. It costs $610 to send a child to Camp Ernst, but the value of camp is life changing. I shudder to think of the person I would be without camp, and the relationships that would never have happened if I had never gone. Because of camp, I am someone that I am proud of. I am someone who has friends that I can call my family, and my support system is unimaginable. The impact that camp has on people is priceless, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Each year, camp is able to help families struggling with financial issues send their child to camp through our scholarship program. This program makes is possible for children who could not otherwise afford camp experience the same deeply profound and unconditional love that I did as a camper. Every child deserves the opportunity to explore the intricacies of childhood and be whoever they were meant to be, and camp is a place where that is possible.
I'm starting this crowdrise because camp gave me everything. While I can only try to repay it, I can give another child the opportunity to go to camp. Camp is my home, and I am so lucky to call it that. I just want the opportunity to share it with as many people as possible, because every kid deserves the chance to go to camp. Please consider donating to my campaign if you can. Even if it doesn't seem like a lot, you are helping change a child's life in incredible ways.