As a counselor, it makes me happy to watch my campers enjoy spending time with each other and build healthy friendships.  Before each session starts, I like to have a few activities planned to help the kiddos become acquainted with each other right away.  This way, campers feel included and that they have a place in the cabin.  It’s important to create these activities with the perspective of the camper in mind and I am thankful to be able to draw from my experience as a camper in order to accomplish this goal.

Working with campers over the past two summers has been incredibly rewarding.   As each session goes on, it’s fascinating to watch the cabin grow closer together and bond throughout the week.  From cabin activities to open waterfronts, campers have the opportunity to spend time with each other and grow closer.  Towards the end of each session, it’s hard to believe that campers have only spent a week with each other.  You’d think they all grew up together, or that they had known each other for years! The hardest part of each session for myself as a counselor is check-out day.  It breaks my heart to watch friends say goodbye and part ways for the year.  You know you did well when your campers plan to return to the same session together, or when they all start writing phone numbers and social media information on each others’ arms or that journal they just had to have from the camp store!

I think the most special part of camp is the friendships you make when you’re there. Hands down!  My camp friends are what made me continue to return to camp each summer as a camper, and to this day, I still keep in touch with them.  I am incredibly thankful to have them in my life, and we always enjoy spending time together when reunited.  Camp brings the best out in everyone and that is what makes it unique from the rest of the world. It’s like you step into this alternate universe of really awesome people!  I love it.

For each and every camper that I work with, it is my goal to make them feel connected to Pendalouan and that they feel like have a place, just like I do. As a counselor, I will do whatever it takes to replicate the same experience with making friends that I had.  I always enjoy seeing familiar faces return to the shores of Big Blue to reunite with old friends and make new ones each summer too.  Looking back on my summers as a camper and experience as a staff member has shown me the power of summer camp and the significance of the lifelong friendships it creates.

See you on the shores of Big Blue!

Benjamin Hogan

Summer Staff 2017-Present

Lifelong Friendships @ Pendalouan