— By Jesse Tangen, Camp Rainbow Gold Volunteer-
I was first introduced to camp by some friends of mine. I remember them telling me about camp, how amazing the experience was, how much fun happens at camp, and how exhausted you feel at the end. When I attended Sibling Camp as a first year volunteer in 2015, I found all that and more to be true. I love getting to be silly, dress up in fun costumes, and make connections with my campers as a counselor in the cabins. I really never had a desire to join the leadership team because of the amount of fun that happens when assigned to a cabin.
This year, I was asked to be a part of the leadership team as the activities director for the Fall Family Camp and decided to try it out. I was really intimidated by the thought of leadership. I’ve had friends on leadership teams for several other camps and have heard about the challenges and time commitment it takes. Plus, I felt a lot of pressure to do well and often had the thought that if I don’t do well, the families wouldn’t have fun…yikes. But, how wrong I was!
Being Part of the Team
Although being a part of the leadership team is more of a time commitment, the essence of camp still rings true. The team was AMAZING. I found myself frequently thinking about how lucky I am to get to work with such amazing team members and camp folks. Each team member has their own duties but if I was stuck or had a challenge, all I had to do was ask and the team was there to help. While at camp, we had some difficult challenges having to adapt activities due to air quality. Again, the team stepped up to not only help me to make the necessary changes to the schedule but also filled in where my weaknesses were showing. The hardest part was honestly learning that I can rely on the team and that I don’t have to carry the weight of the schedule on my own.
Overall, I felt that my experience on the leadership team showed me that organizing and executing these camps really is a team effort, that the roles overlap sometimes, and it allows you to have fun with creativity. It also taught me that who you have on your team matters when challenges arise. The last thing I learned is that the magic we feel at camp is still felt when you are on the leadership team. When I felt stress or pressure with the challenges, it was always met with support, love, and non-judgement from my team.
Being on the leadership team was never something I sought out but I’m so glad it was introduced to me this year. My hope is to continue to be a part of the leadership team for the Fall Family Camp next year and continue to help create amazing experiences for our families, who deserve it so much.