Earlier this spring, we issued a call for kids to submit essays about summer camp. What better way to show what summer camp means to kids than to have them express it in their own words?
Here’s what Kayla Peterson, a fifth-grader at Otis Orchards Elementary, had to say about her camp experience:
“Last year, I went to Camp Four Echoes twice. The one I like the most was Homesteaders. There were only six girls in Homesteaders, but we all had a lot of fun. We learned how to make a lot of things, including coasters out of pine needles, pillows, and jam. We also did a lot of crafts. The Homesteaders session was over the Forth of July holiday. We had a long walk down to a nearby bay, but we saw fireworks and we were right next to the water. When I was on my way to camp, I was nervous, but I had a lot of fun.”
Seventh-grader Katurah Guidry, from Medical Lake Middle School, wanted to share her thoughts about Camp Four Echoes:
“I like Camp Four Echoes, it is a great place to go and have lots of fun. Dad and I camp was really fun, I made friends, played games, ate yummy camp food, and spent some quality time with my father. During summer camp I made fun crafts, played games, shopped at the store, hiked a lot, and made some good friends. This is an incredible camp for all girls. You can go there to get away from your family, to have a nice vacation, or just get away from all the chaos of life for a week. When you go to bed, you are surrounded by peace and quiet. In the morning, you get a nice hot breakfast, then swim, hike, ride horses, or do what ever you signed up for. I hope you take my advice and go there! It is so fun and I bet you will have fun to. I hope I see you there.”
Katurah’s sister, Naomi Guidry, is a sixth-grader at Hallett Elementary School who says she also loves everything about Camp Four Echoes (except hiking). Naomi offered an Acrostic poem about the camp:
Once in a life time chance
Emma McLaughlin, a fourth-grader at Pasadena Park Elementary, offers some practical advice from her years at Camp Dart-Lo and Camp Sweyolakan:
“Some of the reasons I like to attend camp are:
“Friends - Making new friends at camp is one of the things that I enjoy the most. You can make life-long friends at camp!
“Counselors - The counselors at camp are fun, energetic, enthusiastic, supportive, and full of great ideas for crafts and outings.
“Swimming Lessons - At both camps, I have the opportunity to take swimming lessons which is very important as my family spends a lot of time around the water in the summer.
“Extra Spicy Options - Each camp offers us the chance to do some things that we may not have gotten to do otherwise. Some of these fun options include Silverwood Trip, Sierra Silver Mine Tour, White Water Rafting, Hiawatha Trail Bike Trip, Horseback Trip, and much more!
“Outdoors - I love being outdoors whether it is hiking, swimming, boating, or playing. Camp provides me the opportunity to do all of these things in the outdoors while learning how to take care of the environment we live and play in.
“If I were to pass along information to new campers (and my little brother is one this year) it would be:
“Shoes - Make sure you have good shoes as you’ll do a LOT of walking.
“Sunscreen - Sunburns really hurt so remember your sunscreen and learn how to put it on correctly before you get to camp.
“Family - For those that are going to a camp where you’ll be spending the night away from home, remember that Mom and Dad love you and that they will miss you as much as you miss them. They, however, will probably also enjoy the peace and quiet while you’re gone.
“Letters - Take paper, envelopes, postage stamps, and a pen with you to camp along with the addresses of family and friends. They will LOVE to get a quick letter from you telling them how things are going at camp.
“Listen - The counselors, staff, and camp directors know so many things. Listen to them and you will learn a lot. Listen to them and you will be kept safe. Listen to them and you’ll stay out of trouble.”
And finally, Alisha Pajimola, a junior at Shadle Park High School, shares how the summer camp experience has helped shape her life:
“I came to the Northeast Youth Center when I was 13 years old and in junior high. I was placed in an Adventure Camp Program with a wonderful leader named Paladin Alent. During the summer, I met new friends and one girl named Brittnie. The Adventure Camp was well planned with many fun things to do every week ranging from horse back riding, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, swimming, etc. We felt like a family.
“Today, I am 16 years old and a student at Shadle Park High School. Everyday after school, I go to work at the Northeast Youth Center as a Recreation Aide. And guess who I met that is an Aide also – my friend from summer camp three years ago – Brittnie! Working for the Parks & Recreation Department at the Northeast Youth Center, I feel like I can give back to the community like they gave to me. It really can be a family thing! My sister’s first job was a Recreation Leader. She fell in love with kids here and now she is a teacher at Redmond Junior High in Seattle. When I’m asked about my greatest memories, I always think back to that summer Adventure Camp program. It was truly unforgettable and I want that for all the kids too!”
Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences, and have a great summer!