I think I’ve started around 5 drafts for this post. I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to go or what specific things I wanted to highlight about this experience. So finally, I just wrote. I looked at pictures from camp and I just naturally wrote what this camp provided me and everyone else with.
Camp I am is a four day camp for children on the autism spectrum. As a volunteer counselor, I was assigned two very sweet 12-year-old boys. It was my duty to make sure they were safe and having fun the entire weekend. Which wasn’t very hard. There are so many different activities you don’t even have time to be bored. We did different things like canoeing, rock climbing, lots of dancing, water fights, and arts and crafts.
I can honestly say that the best part of camp wasn’t any of the activities. I can clearly remember this one instance where I was standing in the pavilion (the main stage area) and they were playing one of the camp songs. I looked around and everyone was just dancing wildly. I couldn’t help but get emotional. Life is hard for everyone. Some people have it a lot harder than others. In that moment, none of that mattered. Everyone was equal and didn’t have a care in the world. It humbled me. I became grateful for being able to be a part of something so pure.
This year’s theme was Around the World, spotlighting on the concept of acceptance. Each age group decorated their own wooden square which when all squares were connected it spelt out “Acceptance.” Now each group had to choose a couple of campers to come up stage and explain what acceptance meant to them. It’s always very eye opening to see things from someone else’s perspective. These kids are still very innocent, they don’t know hate or what it is to be judgmental. To listen to each of their perspectives on acceptance was extremely moving. It brought me back to a place before I became so vulnerable to the world around me. It reminded me that it doesn’t cost anything to be a decent human being.
Take a second out of your day to compliment someone, start a conversation with a stranger, or stand up for something you believe in. Be a better person.