When faced with a childhood that leaves you moving around constantly, one is left with the feeling of isolation and insignificance that makes it difficult to find anything to hold onto. However, once my grandparents took the initiative of enrolling me into Camp Horizon at eight years old, it began to follow me no matter where I went. It’s been ten years now, and on top of growing up surrounded by such amazing things, I am even receiving help with my college enrollments, long after my time as a camper. This trustfulness and ease that Camp Horizon has granted to me throughout my life has allowed their lessons to have a major impact on me, especially the three main principles; respect, responsibility, and resilience.
When in a place like Camp Horizon, one is surrounded by people of every kind of nature and from any background, leaving new things to be learned every day. When in a group of people so different, it’s important to be kind and patient and to learn about whoever you are facing before making your own move. Camp Horizon does a wonderful job of providing opportunities to talk to these new people, a task that has always been a chore for me, personally. When at camp, I’m encouraged to interact with everyone around me, and once I learn about someone, it leaves me with kinder feelings for them and teaches us to respect one another. I was always far too anxious to interact with people of any sort for most of my childhood years, and due to my fears, I could never find a suitable career to pursue nor the manners to properly interact with another person and earn respect for myself. Now that I’m in my late teenage years, and approaching adulthood, the experiences that I’ve had with this camp has allowed me to see the kindness in the general person and opened me up to new paths in my life.
Along with my isolation to people, over my childhood I developed a certain unawareness to things that had to be done within a certain time in order to help other people. I only focused on what benefitted me in the moment and not what I would lose in the long run, but along with the many faces that encircle me at camp, it also has taught me how to deal with them. Many scenarios during the creative meetings in the summer were enacted, describing common occurrences in typical life and how to respond to them. Never being able to face the situations otherwise, it became obvious how easy it is to inconvenience someone else when putting your own desires first. Being late to a doctor appointment, or turning in an assignment late leaves the person on the other end having to put in extra time for me, and often inconveniences myself as well from losing opportunities, simply because I didn’t feel like being punctual in completing my duties to other people. At this point in my life, I make it my mission to complete any personal assignments on time and have the responsibility to do so correctly.
When surrounded by so many different faces at once, again, it can be difficult to get along at times. It is not always easy to be patient and respectful to everyone around you; therefore, bad things can happen and people can get hurt. The human ego is easily crushed when faced with difficulties in life, as many of my fellow campers have also experienced. Those leading Camp Horizon recognize this and as such, educate and encourage the importance of the individual and that one must be resilient and get up after falling down. My journeys through high school have been grueling and I had many downfalls that damaged many of my grades. I never saw a way to fix my mistakes, or going very far in life any ways, but the most important lesson that I have learned from Camp Horizon is that there is always a way to keep going. By the time I completed my junior year, I improved my performance in classes and continue to maintain them. With the added effort that came with the support of Camp Horizon, I can now aspire to go as far as I want to in college and get in any career I choose, no matter how much time or work it may take.
Out of every memory I have in my life, Camp Horizon is among my oldest and tells of my most committed friends. Every experience I have of summer camp and LDP has been phenomenal in shaping me into the person that I am today. With the life lessons that I have learned of; respect, responsibility and resilience, I know that I can always take any problem in my life and turn to one of the three for guidance. If it weren’t for Camp Horizon, I wouldn’t have the means to strive for aspirations as high as my own and thrive in the world around me.