We have a summer intern in our MarComm department at GSSJC - Michelle Sheena is learning all about the ins and outs of marketing with us as she decides whether to pursue it as her college major, and one of her assignments is to write for our blog. Since she grew up as a Girl Scout in our council and attended all three of our resident camps over the years, we invited Michelle to share her experiences with you! In her first post on her camp experience at Camp Agnes Arnold, she shares why she wanted to go to camp, how she overcame homesickness and lessons learned at camp that still apply to her life today.
By Michelle Sheena
Former Girl Scout, MarComm intern
time I first heard about Girl Scout camp I was dying to go. It seemed like my
friends had all been to resident camp already, and every summer they came back
to school with crazy stories about everything from hiking to archery. I could
not wait until the summer when I got to leave home for a week and live with
other girls my age.
When I was
12 I finally went to away camp. I chose Camp Agnes Arnold and went with one of
my best friends, Kathryn, for the Camp Like a Girl session. Our families drove
up to camp together, checked in together, said goodbye together. Now our young
selves were on our own. Kathryn and I were almost inseparable, but we left
enough room for us to both make other friendships. However, I felt like Kathryn
was adjusting to our home away from home faster than I was; she had been to
camp before. I felt somewhat alienated, which led to homesickness – a new
feeling. This wasn't what camp was supposed to be like.
As the days
went by I grew more and more comfortable being away from home. I bonded with so
many other girls just like me and eventually forgot why I felt so awkward in
the first place. We distracted ourselves by making friendship bracelets,
tie-dye shirts and even oatmeal face masks. We learned how to swim while
playing exciting games and finally got the chance to take the canoes out.
By the time
Friday rolled around I never wanted to leave. As I repacked my bag, I saw more
than just a hat or a shirt or a water bottle. I saw memories: the hat I wore
when I made Kathryn a bracelet and she made me one back; the shirt I
accidentally got oatmeal on; the water bottle I constantly refilled per the
request of the staff. Girl Scout camp helped me recognize my independence at a
young age. I had an incredible time while learning how to grow up slowly,
gaining confidence along with a very valuable set of skills.
my involvement with Girl Scouts because I saw how it benefited me every day.
Although I never returned to Camp Arnold for resident camp, I did go back for
various Girl Scout retreats, and my Girl Scout troop even started a winter
break tradition there. I also went to Camp Misty Meadows once and Camp Casa
Mare on multiple occasions.
direct impact of Girl Scout camp on my life now is the conversion of the
independence I found there to the independence I now have in college at Tulane.
Although packing enough clothing for one week and driving an hour away is
hugely different from packing my entire room and moving out of the house, each
circumstance required me to lessen my reliance on my parents. I had to assess
all of my issues at camp on my own, or find assistance myself, and I have to do
the same while at college.
Look for more entries from Michelle in the coming weeks on other experiences at Camp Agnes Arnold and Camp Casa Mare!