Haydn K. – 15 year old camper
It’s a scientific fact that humans are social animals. We all look for like minded people, ways of fitting in, and most importantly communities to belong to. It’s only natural. In my case, finding these things has been agonizingly difficult. Since I began my search, I have been looking for others who have a basic understanding of science, think outside the box, and who aren’t afraid to ask questions. That seems easy enough, right? Not exactly. Luckily, in January of 2010, I was able to find a community that fit the bill. However, as much as I enjoy being a part of this group, it mainly consists of adults and children under five. Although I enjoy conversing with the adults and playing with the children, I really need people my own age to relate to. Little did I know that eight months later, I would find exactly what I was looking for, Camp Quest. This program is very important to me because of my history with camp, my experiences there, and what I hope my future involvement will be.
To begin with, I have a long history with Camp Quest. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the very first Camp Quest Texas. This year will mark the third year I have attended! On top of that, I will be attending the first year of Camp Quest Oklahoma, which I am absolutely thrilled about! I have truly loved being a part of this program as well as watching its progress and evolution.
Next, my experiences at camp have been some of the best and most memorable moments of my life. Each year I make a point of meeting EVERY person there. I would not be the same confident, secure, outgoing person I am today without Camp Quest. I hope that I have had the same impact on others that they have had on me. For me, Camp Quest has truly been a life changing experience.
Finally, I hope to be very involved in the future of Camp Quest and help give back some of what I’ve been given. Seeing as I will be 16 next year, I plan to be a counselor in training at BOTH camps. Ever since I went to the first camp, I have dreamed of being a camp counselor. Earlier I mentioned the importance of having people my own age to relate to, but it’s equally important to have role models. I only hope that I can be half the role model to others that my counselors have been to me.
To sum it up, my past, present, and future with Camp Quest has been a very important aspect of my life. I have had the privilege of attending the first Camp Quest Texas, attended every year since, and will attend the first Camp Quest Oklahoma this year. Not only has this program given me a scientific, freethinking community, it has helped shape the person I am today. I hope to give back by becoming a counselor in training and eventually a full fledged counselor, which has been my dream since my first day at camp. In all honesty, I couldn’t have found a more perfect community than Camp Quest!
Leslie – Volunteer Counselor
Have you ever thought of volunteering a week of your summer to work with kids? Last year I volunteered as a camp counselor with Camp Quest Oklahoma. It was my first experience as a summer camp counselor and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Of course I had the usual experience with kids; babysitting, tutoring, etc. The staff with Camp Quest Oklahoma made it quick and easy for me to get settled in and get acquainted with the other counselors. As well as providing a detailed schedule of the week’s events to keep me well prepared. I was assigned to the eldest girl’s camp where ages ranged from about 11-15. It was interesting to see how the campers adjusted to being away from the constant distraction of TV, computer games and cell phones. Many found the physical activities challenging, as most were from the city and not used to being out in their natural surroundings. As a team we worked together to make each individual girl feel comfortable while they were there. The family style setting for dinner was a nice added touch and the food was great! If you a looking for a word of advice before volunteering: be prepared for homesickness, but the best piece of advice to receive and give in that situation is, “we all get it”, quite honestly – I missed my home, friends and pets too. One big challenge for me was adjusting to each individual child’s communication style, but after a couple of days it becomes second nature; this became a really big take away for me after the week’s end. Volunteering for Camp Quest Oklahoma gave me the opportunity to grow, utilize and expand my leadership skills. It was great wholesome fun with no outside pressures for kids. Camp Quest Oklahoma asks one thing of its participants; to approach camp with an open mind and room for growth. Given the wonderful experience I had last year I plan to return this year in the hopes of seeing new faces as well as old, and to take this opportunity to help kids of all ages grow with broader minds and bigger hearts. Volunteering creates a winning relationship for everyone. If you have never done it; you should most certainly consider it. It is a life-changing experience for everyone involved.