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I never would have imagined that ten days was all it would take to alter my entire outlook on life.

I groggily woke up on my first day of camp more tired than I was excited to go. Being a more nervous person, I was shaking heading into the building. But any uneasy feelings instantly melted away after I passed through the doors and heard the endless laughter that filled the room. I was so excited to find my place amongst the five to seven year old campers and the rest of their counselors — the pure joy on all of the campers faces could be felt from across the room. I circled the table introducing myself to my new campers; I could not believe how excited they were for camp to start.

I had to wonder, what made this camp so special? I mean, I had been to summer camp as a kid, but I had never seen smiles like those. That question was answered quickly. Our days weren’t just filled with fun camp activities, they were made up of once in a lifetime opportunities for some of our campers, which no one took for granted. More importantly, what made Camp Lots of Fun unique was the relationships and bonds that could not be duplicated. Everyone genuinely cared so deeply about each other and displayed nothing but kindness and appreciation for one another.

I will always remember the day we took a field trip to the Liberty Science Center. My campers’ eyes went wide with all of the amazing sights. Between the miniature aquarium and the small lab for science experiments, they could not get enough of this place. Even something as simple as the outside playground drove them crazy. I also remember how much the kids loved going to the movie theater for a private viewing of the film, Storks. Their glistening eyes were glued to the big screen with huge smiles pinned on their faces. For the rest of the day my campers raved about how amazing it was.

The most unforgettable experience, though, was the day we had a surprise cupcake party for the campers. One of the kids was shocked to hear that he had his cupcake all to himself. We often take the simple things for granted and it was very eye opening to see just how grateful people could be.

I really do miss my campers every day; I especially miss how happy I could make them and how happy they could make me. People would think that I changed their lives, but really they changed mine.