One of the best perks about being a camp counselor is seeing how your group comes together during the five days of adventure activities. Melody’s favorite part about camp is watching the kids go through this process. She says, “I always enjoyed seeing the difference in the kids between the first and last day of camp. On Mondays, they were often hesitant or unsure of how they fit in the rest of the group. By the end of the week, they had come together. The quieter kids felt more comfortable sharing their ideas, and the louder kids learned to listen more closely. I love that contrast because it is evidence of the beautiful burden and responsibility of being a camp counselor: making space for each camper to belong, while affirming what is unique about them.”

As a college student and future teacher, planning out every detail and executing it perfectly is a pressure that many feel. This was an area where Melody had to step out of her comfort zone last summer, and her campers helped her along the way. “My campers were crucial in helping me overcome this challenge—they didn’t care if games and low ropes were timed perfectly or if we ate lunch at precisely 12pm. They just wanted to have fun!” 

Another perk of the job is the staff community that supports you throughout the summer. Some of Melody’s favorite moments with her friends were crowding together on the couches before dinner or joining together in a circle singing the Doxology after the sweaty Friday celebrations. These prayer circles would become the cornerstone for her faith during the summer. Trusting God would take care of her became essential as she recovered from the long days. A favorite verse of hers was Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” This was not only relevant to the summer, when there was no academic pressure, but especially this past school year as she returned to her studies. 

In her free time, Melody enjoys runs and walks in the woods, be it by herself or with friends. During the warm months, she enjoys gardening, planting and harvesting. Although Melody won’t be returning to Adventure Camp this summer, she plans to pursue her passion for environmental education during her summer internship in New Jersey. This will lay the groundwork as she hopes to someday work for a nonprofit organization focused on conservation, advocacy and education.

By DJ McCarthy ’20, La Vida Intern