Trevor McKinney ’24 — I would first off like to thank Dr. Roy Kaplan, Associate Dean Morin, Dr. Robert Horton, Dr. Michele Pittard, Wabash alumni Bill Butcher, and the Wabash Liberal Arts Immersion Program (WLAIP) at Wabash College for the roles they played in allowing me the chance at this incredible internship. Without the people listed above I would have been unable to do all that I did this summer, and thanks to them I can share all of the amazing things I have learned from working at a summer camp. The idea of being a camp counselor is one that had never crossed my mind, that is until Roy Kaplan recommended that my outdoors experience and personality would meet the needs to be a good counselor. I spent a little bit of time to take the thought in as I couldn’t see myself working with kids in that manner but decided to take a leap of faith and go for the internship at Camp Grier in North Carolina.

This internship has taught me many skills that I will be able to use for the rest of my life. My morning started at seven A.M. when I would wake up my kids and have them ready for the day by eight. My energy needed to start high as we sang every morning before breakfast. My co-counselors and I would make sure we we enthusiastic about anything we did because it was our job to create a fun and exciting environment for the kids, and whether that meant singing songs at the top of my lungs or dancing at eight in the morning I was willing to do it. I spent all day leading the kids through an array of activities both exciting and boring. From trips down rivers and up mountains to playing disc golf in the woods I would keep excited and moving. At the end of the night I would lead the kids through a devotion that was meant to make them think and appreciate their experiences during the day. After that I would send them to bed so they could prepare to do it all over again the next day.

Though I never wanted to be a camp counselor I don’t think there is anything that has impacted me in a more positive way in my entire life. I was able to spend this summer living not just for myself, but for the kids. I woke up every day willing to do whatever it takes to create an awesome time for my kids. I saw kids from broken homes smile and learn to enjoy the outdoors. I saw kids sent here by wealthy families against their will who ended up not wanting to leave. Camp Grier has given me a new perspective on life and that is one that I hope to keep for the rest of my life. Thank you Camp Grier for all that you have been for me this summer and thank you to my kids for being my reason to get up and live life every day.