The Next Chapter: The CIT ExperiencePosted by on October 18, 2017

I like to think of my experience here at Fernwood Cove in three chapters. The first is my camper years. Not many of you know me from when I was a camper. But for the few of you that do, let’s reminisce in my 5th grade glory days. I rolled up to Kestrel bunk rocking the basketball shorts to my knees, a middle part pony tail with the hair wrap hanging out, it felt so good because of the scalp massage I got before, and green braces…no regrets. Each summer I didn’t spend much time in the spotlight.

By the time I was in Flam I was friendly with everyone but I didn’t necessarily have a solid friend group or even a best friend. I was more of a floater. It never bothered me until when I packed my bags and drove out of Island Pond at the end of my Flam summer. My time here felt incomplete. Yeah I had a killer time in Flam but who doesn’t. I just didn’t feel like I accomplished everything that I heard previous Flams talk about: life lasting friendships, leaving your impact on camp, and making a difference. Most of all I knew I didn’t leave camp the best version of myself. The way I felt that day led me to the next chapter here: The CIT program.

To Become The Person I Dreamed of Being

Those two summers in the program changed me as a person completely. 8 weeks in a bunk both summers brought me closer to girls here that are still my best friends and I can’t imagine my life without them. Our glorious times include waking up to our bunk mom yelling “get to the vans” when our tents were in a lake of water at 3AM during a rainstorm, going through the most physical pain of my life climbing the vertical playpen at high five, spending an entire intersession with Jeff Liken, and using Neutrogena grapefruit wipes to “clean” our bodies when we hadn’t showered in 4 days from camping. To this day I still can’t smell that scent without gagging. And lastly, sitting in numerous circles pouring our hearts out during deep and meaningful conversations, otherwise known as DMCs.

I was surrounded by my friends and counselors that challenged and supported me to become the person I dreamed of being. By the end of the program I became more confident, self-driven, and aware of what capabilities I had to make myself achieve. It taught me more life lessons than I could ever learn at school. From there I really felt like I was making a difference at camp and that I belonged.

The Next Chapter: I’m So Lucky

There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to continue on to chapter three: counselor. I was so excited to take on this new role with all the knowledge I knew about this place. It’s safe to say there’s not many other places on earth where I get to teach girls how to play the guitar, beat buckets or boom some whackers. At home not many of my friends even know I play the guitar. But at camp it’s such a big part of my image, which I love. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by campers, CITs, and counselors who are just as enthusiastic and interested about their passions as I am, whether that’s climbing, arts and crafts, or wake boarding.

Fernwood Cove gathers the most incredible staff. I couldn’t be motivated and energetic enough without you all. Camp moves at such a rapid pace that we don’t take many moments to stop, take a look back and reflect on the work we’re doing. Let me just say that it’s been an amazing summer and that’s because of all of you, even if we misplaced some tent bags for a few weeks. We put up and took down hundreds of benches, set up the sound system what seems like a million times, and sorted through bags and bags of laundry. But seriously pat yourselves on the back because we did it.

Your Next Chapter: Make An Impact

Because I have three older siblings who never attended Fernwood Cove. My family doesn’t really get the magic that goes on here and how it affects people. One thing that’s special to me is that my Flamingo bunk moms, Steph and KK. have been with me for all three chapters. They were always there for me to lend a hand, or a shoulder to cry on. Even with a spontaneous 2-week vacation to Hawaii! I one day hope I can make an impact on other people as much as they do.

I’d like to thank the directors who have provided all of us with such a magical place. Especially Alicia, who accepted me into the CIT program and always believed in me from the start. And for letting me teach an entire week of Landscape Painting with Bobby Dam. And to Caroline who provided me with the fun challenge of teaching her the drums. It’s not often that I get to give my boss private lessons.

To my Penguin family: words can’t describe the endless laughter and good times I’ve experienced with you. The talent and dedication you brought to putting on this banquet is beyond impressive. I can’t wait to see what you’ll get up to next year.

Lastly, to everyone else, I hope you took advantage of the endless amount of opportunities Fernwood Cove gives you. To grow as an individual. And to make strong bonds. Most of all, I hope you finished the summer feeling the best version of yourself. What will be your next chapter?

Thank you to Staff Banquet Speaker, Louisa Phillips, sharing her speech with us.  We can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings!