IU Camp Fair

So this week IU and the school of HPER had their annual summer camp jobs fair! As a freshman, The fair caught my eye as I was on my way to get my daily starbucks. Not knowing what I was getting myself in to, I started visiting different tables. 

When I was little the only camp I ever went to was a week long girl scout camp. I was about to enter jr. high and felt my pre-teen self needed to feel independent and get away from home- even if Camp Dean was only 30 minutes away! During that week long "vacation" I got too many bug bites, too sunburned, dehydrated, got humiliated because I couldn't pass the swim test and worst, broke my elbow. Then and there I vowed never to attend camp again- so what was I doing visiting this camp jobs fair?

The answer: I needed adventure. You would think coming to IU was adventure some enough, but do to some poor choices and the overwhelming shock of moving to a new place with a culture like IU- my freshman year was definitely not what I had hoped for. I am a person who thrives on adventure- and at that point my freshman year, I wasn't fulfilling that need. 

I always loved working with kids- have always viewed myself as a kid at heart- and thought maybe working at a summer camp could be worthwhile. I knew I needed adventure- and I thought well- what could be more adventuresome than a far-away camp! I visited the space camp table- then realized I'm scared of aliens.... I visited a day camp- and thought I didn't want to just be treated as a babysitter over the summer.... Then I talked to Kenny at Camp Saginaw.

Pictured from left to right is Kenny and Adam- camp directors, as well as Zach and Matt- IU students and camp counselors at this years camp fair

Camp Saginaw is an overnight camp in eastern Pennsylvania. There’s nothing too unique about it- no space shuttles, not sports or horse backing centered- it just seemed fun. So I interviewed with Kenny and new that Camp Saginaw is the place I needed to go. I got the job, and anxiously waited for the summer. 

That first summer at camp still puts a great smile to my face. I feel in love with my girls, met some of my best friends, had a perfect summer love, and really grew as a person. I thrived at camp Saginaw, and it became a part of me. When I returned to IU for sophomore year and even still to this day, it’s hard for me to stop talking about the magic a summer camp has. And when trying to explain things like color war, VIJ, off days, senior swim or Matt Stamm to my all my friends back home, I realized that no one will fully understand, unless you were a camp kid or counselor yourself. 

Pictured Above from left to right: The '10 IJ Girls Softball Team, My Bunk D Campers, and the inter division counselors dressed as nerds before camp outting.

I returned for a second summer, which was unfortunately cut short. Needless to say, I was heartbroken. But the bonds of camp still held on, as I still frequently skype or facebook with my campers and other counselors from all over the world. Camp also made IU feel like a bit smaller of a home as well. Whenever I see another counselor on campus, usually followed by giant bear hugs and warm greetings- my mind is transported back to Saginaw and my day (no matter how bad) always gets a little bit better. I hope to return to Saginaw once again this next summer.

Without the opportunity IU and HPER gave by having the camp fair, I would've never had camp and never have had the most incredible experience since coming to IU. 

About The Author
Kate Drass

I'm an avid hoosier who loves tailgating, IUBB, Little 5, Theta Phi Alpha and being a science nerd.