Camp Kum Ba Yah@CosbyWoods - An Oasis, A Shangri-La in the Center of the City
Camp Kum-Ba-Yah is a sacred place; for campers, counselors, pool members, and the public alike. The last time I worked at camp in 2017 was just the same two years later. It was as if I had still been a counselor every year since 2014. The atmosphere that is set for the campers and counselors at the beginning of each summer was still there, even with only one more week of camp left for the summer of 2019. This atmosphere is how we as counselors and also role models create a place of comfort, safety, and fun for all of the campers. As a lifeguard, counselor, and ropes director for the summers of 2014-2017, it was incredible to come back after two long years and see new and familiar faces who have continued to uphold this legacy. After all, our job as counselors is to make sure all the kids get along, have fun, and are kept healthy and safe.
I’ve always thought of camp as a refuge for the campers. In the past, there have been campers that came from low-income or just not the best families, and camp was a place where they could be safe and interact with other kids their age. Some children do not always have this opportunity, which I why I’m thrilled that we are still sponsoring kids so that they can come to camp. It also is a great way to build trust and deeper relationships with these campers and also counselors. One of the greatest feelings of happiness for me at camp have come from building a relationship with a camper. When they see you in the morning after getting dropped off and their eyes light up and they run over to you so excited to start the day with you; it truly doesn’t get any better than that.
This camp, to me, is an oasis. Ever since I started working here five years ago, it never gets old coming back to see how things are going. There is always something new going on, whether it be a new addition to all of the awesome activities around the grounds, or just new faces taking on this important challenge. Whenever I set foot on campus, I feel more at home in my own hometown. It’s just the way the place makes you feel: so much excitement, so much joy. It really was and still is...
“The greatest job in the world.”