By Jackson Patterson, Summer Camp Director
As I enter my third summer at Camp Mason I find myself reflecting about the people that led me here. At some point that remains a mystery to me someone saw a potential within me. More than likely a few different people saw it at different points along the way. A train of people come to mind, teachers, coaches, my own camp counselors. Each of them helped me to recognize a part of my capabilities that I didn’t even think to look for.
When I was 18 I worked at summer camp for the first time. I watched my Village Chief work hard to lead our group of boys towards an amazing summer experience. I had a great time playing and working with kids and at the end of the summer I told myself that I’d never be the Village Chief; being a counselor was just too good of a job. Over the next two summers I was often “volun-told” for various responsibilities. I was a returner and knew the ropes. After six summers of working at camp I found myself the Assistant Director. I went from never wanting the responsibilities of leadership to now craving it. I had become something entirely different.
I have had the absolute privilege of seeing many staff step up this summer. Former campers are now running camp. Last year’s CITs are now putting their experience to the test by leading cabins and campers of their very own. Today I witnessed a camper move up to the senior villages after years of being in the junior villages. I’ve never seen a wider smile.
It is small moments like this that change us without us even realizing it. I believe that this world could fundamentally change for the best if more people had these opportunities. Opportunities to learn. Opportunities to travel. Opportunities to expand their horizons. A single moment can make a difference and put a child on a life changing path.