August 9, 2022

the fear of leaving and the joy of returning

The night before campers leave, we always have a special ceremony where we honour people who have dedicated a significant part of their life to Arowhon. They sometimes involve those people speaking about what camp means to them – one of the most inspiring things for nervous neophytes to hear. One of them this month was particularly standout and I wanted to share it with you. This is an example of a true Arowhon person:

Somehow ten years have passed and I still couldn’t tell you why camp scares me so much. It’s my favourite place on earth, and it feels almost counterproductive to fear the thing you love the most.

Maybe it’s the idea that camp means huge changes in so many ways – for one, every summer that I leave camp, I find myself to be a more mature and capable person than the timid girl who I was back home. Or maybe I fear the idea that home for me has been different almost every time I leave this place, and I’m scared that I couldn’t love my new home as much as I love this one. Camp has been my home more than ever during the transition between places I’ve lived. Camp sets the standard so high; to compare a new home to this place, it’s easy to see why I would be scared. As I read this today, I have 10 days left of my tenth summer. And when I leave here in ten days, it won’t be the first time I’ve had to leave camp early to move across the world with my family. But without fail, camp is my constant, and you, my friends, are my rock.

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