To The Kids Who Lost Camp

A message from the camp counselors at YMCA Camp Ernst.

Dear every kid who lost their summer at camp,

I see you.

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I am as heartbroken as you are, but let me remind you of a few things.

Camp is so much more than the physical place you spend a week or more every summer. Camp is everywhere you want it to be. I have seen that so much more in the last week than ever.

Since I got the dreaded email, cancelling the summer, I have seen camp everywhere. Here’s just a few examples:
⁃ Watching TV, when they started to make up words
⁃ Coloring because I was so bored
⁃ Playing Uno with my mom
⁃ Opening the pantry and seeing a box of Cheez-It’s
⁃ The bottle of Lysol (to go) I had saved for this summer

These may seem like completely random occurrences, and they probably are, but deep down it has meant a lot more to me.

I was looking forward to this summer, more than I ever had before. I was working 8 of the 9 weeks, and I couldn’t wait to spend (virtually) my whole summer at my favorite place in the world. So many of my friends were going to be there all summer with me, and I was excited to see my campers from past summers. My friends and I had been planning our crazy outfits for opening campfire, and our trips to Rabbit Hash. We had been thinking about what units we were gonna work in, and so much more.

Most importantly, we were thinking about how to make this summer perfect for y’all. We do what we do for y’all. You are the reason we work so hard and love our jobs so much.

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Now that all has changed. We can’t be together this summer, and I know it’s really hard to understand. I don’t know that I understand it fully either.

For now, let’s make our own “camp.” let’s all work hard to be our “camp selves” every day. Show off how awesome we are, practice all 4 of the core qualities of the YMCA, and make the most of this craziness.

Never forget how much your counselors care about you. We’re your biggest fans, and not just for the week you’re in our cabins. Even though we can’t always keep in touch after summer ends, we want to see you succeed. We’ll always encourage you to follow your biggest dreams. We can’t wait for you to tell us all about it next summer. Here’s to 2021!

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Until we can all be together again, this is goodnight and not goodbye

Ernst Love,

all your camp counselors

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