Greetings from Camp Kamaji where it is much too quiet for our liking!! Although summertime has yet to give way to Autumn, the life-and-breath, the heart-and-soul, the campers and staff are no longer in residence. Camp is simply not “camp” – the last of the departing buses two+ weeks ago took with it all traces of Camp Kamaji as we know it. What we are now left with are but the memories of a summer that was indescribably great!! We hope that those of you who spent time here this summer would agree that Kamaji 2009 was a season to remember. And to our campers, we hope that you – in your own words – have thanked your parents for allowing you an opportunity to spend part of your summer at Kamaji. What your parents have given you is an immeasurable gift. Below is a sample camper thank-you letter to all those parents who took an incredible leap of faith to entrust that which is most precious in their lives to Camp Kamaji. Here goes . . .
Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah,
Thank you for the priceless gift you gave me this summer – the gift of summer camp!!
Thank you for the glamour . . . and the mystique of summer camp.
Thank you for a place where I could create a new world on a blank slate. . . to invent my best self . . . and make first new impressions.
Thank you for placing me in a unique setting that allowed me to feel a sense of connectedness, belonging and safety . . . and an acceptance of and appreciation for me.
Thank you for turning me loose to play freely – and, in so doing, I have acquired a sense of playfulness that hopefully will survive well beyond my youth.
Thank you for sending me to camp – a child-centered environment where the hurry, stress and demands of life away from camp were almost totally eliminated.
Thank you for providing me with a place where I could make my own fun and most importantly, make my own choices.
Thank you for allowing camp to teach me what positive things to say and do when I made mistakes and faced challenges – without feeling bad about or unsure of myself.
Thank you for giving me the chance to choose my own activities instead of doing what was expected.
Thank you for sending me to a place where I could make new friends, enjoy the outdoors, short-sheet my counselors’ beds and try and try and sneak candy into my cabin.
Thank you for staying “connected” with me this summer through your handwritten letters.
Thank you for indirectly teaching me an important life lesson that will surely stay with me through adulthood: even though at first it was a scary experience being away from you, I know now that I can take care of myself.
Thank you for letting me go which I know is not always easy for a parent to do.
Thank you for the fond, fuzzy memories of a summer where I lived with camp friends in bunk-filled cabins in the woods.
Thank you for the opportunity to take canoe trips down remote stretches of river and help pitch tents, collect firewood, prep and cook some of my own meals. Thank you letting me sleep underneath the stars. These experiences have given me a kind of self-confidence I am not sure I could have gotten any other way.
Thank you for sending me to camp where I learned that I was competent in ways I never dreamed possible.
Thanks for not coming to get me when I begged to come home. As a result I learned that you have faith in my abilities to adjust to whatever comes my way.
Thank you for the opportunity to live in a cramped small living space with a group of girls – many of whom I did not know until camp – who are now some of my best friends . . . and surely will be for the rest of my life.
Thank you for the lessons about responsibility, teamwork and leadership – skills that I can now take back to home and school . . . and beyond . . .
Thank you for the chance to learn that requiring all kids to do everything equally well is a mistake – and that, instead, my individual talents and interests – found, tapped, nurtured and applauded at camp – set me apart in all ways good.
Thank you for providing me a place where I could develop my independence and grow in confidence.
Thank you (I think??) for allowing camp to make me clean the cabin, hop and clear at meals, sort and fold my own clothes.
Thank you for the opportunity to live with girls whom I didn’t always get along with but with whom I learned to deal with our differences in a productive positive way.
Thank you for putting me into a situation where I could really test my limits . . . and expand my horizons.
Thank you for allowing me to develop resiliency – by learning, when I sometimes fall short, how to bounce back from everyday challenges.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make my own decisions . . . discover my own strengths . . .
Thank you for allowing my cabin counselor to do her best to help me get through it when I was homesick, upset or sad.
Thank you for the opportunity to be embraced by unique and special traditions and customs – the “secret codes” of my camp.
Thank you for a chance to experience new adventures.
Thank you for the ability to surprise even myself when I found that I could achieve results in spite of seemingly insurmountable odds.
Thank you for providing me with an experience that will surely reap benefits for a lifetime.
Thank your for allowing me to step out of my comfort zone, to spread my wings and learn to fly.
Thank you for the gift of camp.
Your Happy Camper