WMACS Summer Camp 2012
When you’re a teen, sleepover camps during the summer can be life-changing events for you. Chances are that you haven’t spent that much time away from the watchful eyes of your parents and it’s the most intense amount of social interaction you’ve ever had. And since everything is extreme when your life experience is so small and your hormones are on fire, it’s not uncommon to hear things like “This was the best week of my life!”
16 year old me loved camp, and, now that I’m older, I actually still do. The side of me that has a penchant for the ridiculous loves the activities geared towards creativity and embarrassment. The side of me that’s an educator revels in the fact that you can reset that social rules and provoke discussions that would otherwise never happen. For example, boys were allowed to anonymously ask questions of girls and vice versa. Repeatedly, in class after class, “Do girls pee in the shower?” came up. The answer? It depends.
What I enjoy most is watching new friendships being made – hopefully lifelong ones. For me, having this broader network of friends made transitioning to college smoother; it also made figuring out who I was that much easier. I had camp friends heckling me at my wedding all because I spent a few weeks away from home ten years ago, and I can only hope the same for these kids.
Organization: Washington Metropolitan Association of Chinese Schools
Location: Frostburg State University campus in Frostburg, Maryland.