Back to Camp

In just a few short days, I will be returning to my extreme happy place. A place that I have been attending since I was five years old. Every summer I attend day camp. I started as a camper, and worked my way up through the ranks of “counselor in training,” “junior counselor,” and finally “senior counselor.”

I would love to sit here and tell you that I never missed a year of camp in twenty-seven years, but that would be lying. When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 2006, I had to take off the summer of 2007, and 2008. Camp could not happen, as my body was unstable. I was in and out of the hospital. Even when I was home from the hospital, I could not come to camp as my strength was down. I also was so embarrassed to have to run to the bathroom time and time again.

After a few job changes and improvements in my health, I returned in 2016. I had to sit down with the owners and explain my limitations and concerns. They were very understanding and helped me every step of the way.

This year at camp

Now I am in charge of the oldest bunk in camp. They are called the Super CIT’S (counselor in training). These fifteen-year-old boys and girls work with a bunk during the morning periods. In the afternoon, we all come together and do activities as a big group. The best part of working with this group is the vast amount of trips that we go on. This is my second year in this role and I feel so much more comfortable then this year.

Goals

My goals for this summer is to go on more trips. Crohn ’s has limited me from so trips last year.  For example, tubing down a local river. I am going to challenge myself and see if I can get through the day. It will be stressful, but it’s either that or stay back at camp. I stayed back at camp last summer for a lot of trips. I was very hesitant. For thirty-nine days of summer, I allowed my Crohn’s to control what I could and could not do. Another trip that I missed was Hershey Park. I really wanted to go, but in my head, I thought I would not be able to do it, so I stayed behind at camp. My stomach wasn’t any different that day.

Positive thoughts

So I decided that this camp year is going to be different. I am going into the camp season with positive thoughts. I am going to make sure that I am prepared so that I can enjoy the summer even more. I will pack a change of clothes for the trip, toilet paper (just in case), and extra medicine. I am also going to be more open with the bunk that I am in charge of.

As I stated before, the more you are open to people, the more comfortable you will feel. I think that if I sit down with the campers on Monday and explain exactly what Crohn’s is, and how it affects my body, then I will feel better. In return, we all will have a great summer at camp!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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