I've been away for awhile, but I've been doing some great stuff! I got to spend 6 weeks of my summer at Camp Warren and had a truly lovely time! The people are really one of a kind.
Below is a letter I wrote my family, slightly edited for the blog. I couldn't say it better if I tried again, so here it is.
I was obviously not very able to communicate while I was there, but I thought I'd catch you all up and let you know how life was going at camp. For reference, I went to Warren for over a decade as a camper and one year on staff when I was 17. I took the next 7 years off traveling and doing all that crazy stuff that you've read about on my bog, and so returning was quite the experience. It is very different being older and not having any of my old camp friends there. It was hardest at the beginning, as with most things, but it was probably most uncomfortable because it is such a familiar place without feeling like home. Feeling lonely and unknown at Warren has been a very new and, at times, difficult experience, but I have met some truly lovely people as one can only find at a place like Warren.
It was a great idea to come back, and, honestly, I think that all Warrenites should return when they are in their mid-twenties because it is a wonderful reminder of what one should focus on and how life can be lived joyfully. It helped me anyway to rememebr that there was a time when me and all my friends had a whole bunch of hobbies that we were passionate about and actually really good at. Now we seem to only be specializing in enhancing our productivity.
I'm also EXCEPTIONALLY glad that I'm back because it has been a great reminder of what a full and statisfying life is like without a relationship. I realized that since I started having a boyfriend, (1st bf was after Freshman year of college), I also never returned to Warren, but always had a guy in my life. The two are not necessarily related, but I'm feeling like Warren teaches women their strength, value, and independance and that those things are not, in anyway, related to women's relationships with men. This is obvious in theory, but it is one of those things that I feel begins to slip away as time goes on and you are not surrounded by a community that supports that. Warren is an excellent reminder and a great resource for self-empowerment.
I can think of few things as fulfilling as being back at Warren. Having the opportunity to help people grow in an amazing way and call that your job is often unheard of. Again, I don't think I would have appreciated it as much if I hadn't taken the time off and been through what I've been through and returned many years later. The perspective is completely different. And the true and rare value of Warren is so clear now. Something I, again, knew in theory, but did not truly understand. I just keep thinking about how many people go to camp and think of it as a life-changing experience. All most of us want is to change at least one person's life, to truly make a difference, a ripple in humanity, and practically by default, here we do.
I don't regret one decision I've made with my career choices or lack thereof because it has allowed me to come back to this amazing place and really make a difference in people's lives.
I couldn't be more fulfilled.