My First Week of Camp

For the twenty-seventh summer, I attended camp this week. I love going to camp, as it has been my summer home since I was five. It is a place I go to be around my friends and unwind from a usually stressful winter. It’s a place where you can forget your issues, problems, and concerns as everybody seems to just “go with the flow.” I walked into camp on Monday, excited but reminiscence of past events that made me miss two years.

When I was diagnosed on the fall of 2006, I was put in remission rather quickly, and made it through my final year in college. Once I graduated, I was diagnosed with Listeria, which made my Crohn’s rather worse. I still attended camp.

I remember the days of having to run from the other side of camp to the bathroom

I was barely making it. I remember more that five hundred eyes were glaring at me as I made my way past them. I remember sometimes not making it on time, and having to change my clothes in the nurses office. This was my life before all of my surgeries. That was such a difficult summer. After that, I didn’t return to camp until 2009.

This year is going to be an exciting year

I am once again in charge of the oldest group, the “counselors in training (CIT).” This specific group of campers works with their small group for a few periods each day. At this point, I am able to walk around and monitor them. I make sure they are with their bunks, and interacting with their campers. During the 2nd half of the day, the CIT’s are all together with me, and we do activities. We also go on trips once to twice a week. With these kids being the oldest group, it gives me a lot of freedom. When I am walking around, I am able to step away to use the bathroom when needed. This time I have total control.

I wanted to be upfront

Last Monday was the first day. I sat my CIT’s down and told them the issue that I had.  I feel like if I am upfront with them, they will respect me more. Most know that something had happened because they’ve seen me without my shirt. They have seen me with my lovely scar. I told them that especially on trips, I might have to make a quick dash to the bathroom. I explained that they are going to have to be responsible enough to handle themselves without supervision sometimes for a few minutes. You should have seen their expressions when I was done telling them my crazy story.

They really were understanding

They all came up to me, gave me a handshake or a hug and basically told me, “we got you.” Remember these are teenagers, immersed in the land of video games, social media, and “finding themselves.” This really made me feel great, and I realized that his was going to be the best summer yet! Crohn’s and summer camp was a problem for me a few years ago. Crohn’s now, makes me want to go to camp even more, because I feel myself, I feel wanted, I feel… at home.

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