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Today’s post is from a guest writer, one of our counselors, Erin Smith. Erin was an “original” staff member in 2018 and has worked at Somerset for the past two summers. This spring, she will graduate from Appalachian State University in North Carolina with a degree in elementary education before heading off to Thailand, where she will spend a year teaching English.

What does it mean to be a camp person? I always get asked this by people who don’t get it. They don’t understand why I go to Maine for two months to live what seems like in the middle of nowhere without my phone by my side. Fortunately, the answer is easy.

Camp feels as though you are in your own little world, free from the constant stressors and pressures of everyday life. It’s a “home-away-from-home” where all that is required is to let go and enjoy all that Somerset has to offer. Everyone is different in the most beautiful ways, and instead of worrying about fitting in, we all just fit together. Every girl brings a different attitude, an original personality, a unique skill, a distinct passion, and every single one of them is recognized and celebrated. At camp, you are surrounded by people who only want the best for you and will do whatever it takes to make sure you have fun; whether it be something as small as walking to your next activity with you or as big as swimming by your side during the rigorous Frog Rock swim. Someone is always there.

At Somerset, you always have a constant cheerleader, whether it be Kate or Josh, your counselor, or a bunkmate. There is no need to feel embarrassed or scared to try something new because, at camp, no one cares if you fail. And, even if you do, you can bet that we are going to make sure you get it the next time. There are so many opportunities to try something new, and there is no better feeling than accomplishing something for the first time with your friends by your side. The constant love and excitement that camp provides bring for the most enjoyable experiences and memories to cherish. There’s singing (lots and lots of it), dancing, jokes and endless laughter, game nights, skits, roller skating, the BEST ice cream imaginable, competitions that teach you the importance of being a good teammate and an even better competitor, movie nights, pizza IN THE CABIN, campfires, high fives, overnights, and so much more.

But what is always the most memorable for me is that last morning of camp when everyone is saying their goodbyes and tears are streaming down my face. I don’t want to say goodbye to all the wonderful campers and counselors whom I’ve watched grow and become close with over the summer. As we hug and tell one another that we will see each other next summer, if not before, all I can do is smile knowing that camp had such an unforgettable impact on my life, and the countdown to next summer can officially begun.

That’s why I’m a camp person.

-Erin Smith