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What it means to me

Jake Daniels

English 3 Composition

Mrs. Allen

12/3/15

What it means to me

What it means to me Camp OndessonkI was twelve years old when I first felt that feeling. I had just moved to a new school and was feeling the stereotypical adversities that go with such a change. I was fitting in well at my new school, but I was still timid. Immaculate Conception, my new school was full of wonderful and exciting new opportunities that I had never had before, and it made me nervous. In the midst of this new found pressure, I made a great group of friends to help me along; my new group introduced me to Camp Ondessonk.

At twelve years old, I was convinced to make my first big excursion away from home and I went with close to twenty of my friends to magical Ondessonk. The feeling I felt was overwhelming oneness. I felt like I was one with nature, with my friends, with the counselors, but most importantly with myself. I could smell the breeze that picked up the magnificent scent of 983 acres of aged trees, and rocks, and water. Frowns were nonexistent and ear-to-ear- smiles filled their place. Hearts glowed and family traditions were passed on. Since 1959 beaming families have filled the trails of this wonderland and have given a spirit more powerful than anything on earth. Since its genesis, it has been a home away from home full of love, compassion, and empathy. Generations have felt the same feeling I felt and had the marvelous experience I did.

Ondessonk Coed 2016I could reach out and feel the history; Ondessonk is so potently filled with traditions and activities that have made a difference to every person that has set foot on the property, whether in their dotage or their youth. Throughout my first week, I became addicted to the happiness I felt at Camp, to the nature around me, to the traditions, to the vibrant young spirit, I absolutely fell in love, but there was an underlying love about this place that I didn’t discover until 3 years later as a CIT.

In the council ring, a very sacred place and the grounds for the lodge ceremony, I laid down beside the guys from my CIT group, and the group after us to have a meaningful talk with one another. In this moment, I realized that Camp is a haven, a home for children who feel lost at home. Being a kid can be extremely difficult, especially when you feel like you’re alone, but Camp doesn’t let that happen. Ondessonk is a family of thousands spanning over 50 years of campers, staff, and administration, and you are connected to all of them.

So for me, I guess Camp is a chance; a chance to be a part of a family that takes you for you, a place undisturbed by the strife of our daily lives, a breeze that carries the stories of thousands of campfires, and most importantly a home for those who feel alone. I am now going to be a member of general staff at Camp Ondessonk, and my coworkers and I get to make a whole new generation of campers realize just what Camp means to them.

Camp Ondessonk-What it means to me.  By Jake Daniels

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