Storm Procedures & Other Perfect Bonding Moments

Sarah Sherman (aka Sherms) has been a camper, counselor, and is currently the CIT Unit Leader. Through her many years at camp, it’s safe to say she knows a thing or two about how to make a storm procedure memorable. 

 


Storm Procedures & Other Perfect Bonding Moments

By Sarah Sherman (Sherms)

 

It’s currently snowing outside, which is exactly the opposite weather that I associate with camp.  When I think about camp, I think of rainy days- the ones where you have to change your shoes/clothes multiple times and when I would wear my Timberland boots, because it’s just a downpour.  I think of those unusually cold days- the ones you hope for all summer- when you can finally wear one of the many sweatshirts/sweatpants you packed.  And of course, I think of those unbearably hot days, the ones when you’re sweating just existing, and you miss the “hot day” out-of-camp excursions that used to happen.

At camp, the weather plays a very important role- perhaps more so than off the mountains.  Camp has given me so many important and vivid memories that I hold quite dear, and I can likely tell you what the weather was like on those days.  I remember how it rained most days of my CIT summer- and how our overnight had to be changed because we couldn’t go camping in that weather.  We sat on the porch listening to Broadway music waiting for our Unit Leader to tell us what was going to happen.  I remember in 2008, when it was storm procedure and I happened to have the walkie, my bunk just listened and laughed and we truly enjoyed ourselves- one of my favorite memories of camp ever.  I remember how it poured the last night of camp in 2010.  I remember how at the second welcoming show this past year it started raining, and for some reason, everyone insisted on sticking through the rain instead of moving to the social hall.

7926_691472237044_5734861_nWith generally unpredictable weather and constant weather changes as the norm in the mountains, and to some extent the East Coast in general, you have to be able to adapt to the weather change- and quickly.  At camp that means changing activities in the blink of an eye and always having ideas for games to play in the back of your head for any setting you could be in- the library, the dining hall, the gym, or back in the bunk.  It means having clothes for just about any weather you could experience or making your clothes work for that weather.  For me that means the extremely hot days when I go into the DHULO wearing a t-shirt and immediately take it off and cut it into a tank top.

Being able to adapt to new situations effectively leads to confidence.  Camp is somewhere you can be yourself and learn to trust and love yourself.  Growing up I would have never imagined that I would have no problem walking around camp in brightly colored spandex on Fridays, that when it started to storm one evening activity that I would be able to stand up in front of all of camp and teach “It Rained at Camp Louise” with another A-Team member, or that I would be able to be the Unit Leader for the CITs.

Camp has given me such a safe space to grow up and become who I am, and find that confidence in myself, by challenging me and believing in me.  It is the people who make that possible.  There are the bunkmates who accept the weird things you do, the counselors who truly care that become friends, the campers who you bond with even when you think you’re too awkward for anyone to think you’re cool, the friends who you can talk about anything and everything with, and of course the division head who is always there for a check-in/reality check when you think everything is going wrong (because really, it’s not).

I think one of the best parts about being on staff at camp is giving back some of what camp has given to me.  I love watching campers try new things, gain new skills, and feel proud of what they’ve accomplished, and I love being a part of that.  Camp is where the magic happens.  And I’m looking forward to another great summer in the mountains four months from now.