The essence of Camp Kanata magic isn’t hard to identify – it stems from amazing people doing extraordinary things.
Camp Kanata is a special place where these extraordinary things shine and people recognize them whenever they can. The “real world” isn’t quite as magical to me.
People do not walk around and have silly-string wars in their business suits. People do not break out in song in the middle of Kroger. Having said that, Camp Kanata magic can still come home with you.
During the Camp Kanata Staff Trainee program, we are taught to focus on the little things. We realize you never know exactly what the people around you are going through, and that it’s important to remember that they’re human – just like us.
Just as you struggle, they struggle. Maybe smiling at someone you don’t know, or holding the door for the guy who had a horrible morning could make their day better.
I can speak from experience.
After my first year of high school, I moved to a large city – far away from the small town that I had lived in since I was six. I did not know a soul on the first day of school. I walked through the overcrowded hallways and no one said hello to me, no one smiled in my direction and no one offered to walk me to my next class.
Luckily, this summer at camp, I was reminded of how the little things really make a difference.
With this in mind, I started the school year differently. I went through the hallways constantly smiling at people. I offered to sit with a new classmate at lunch. I waved and said hello to the faces I recognized. I felt better about school and started to notice how others would nervously smile back.
After the first month of school, my new classmate called me. She wanted to thank me for saying hello in the hallways. She thanked me for always asking her if she wanted to sit with me at lunch. She appreciated my friendship and constant attention to the little things.
Bringing Camp Kanata home does not necessarily require impromptu dance parties or cross-camp cheers.
“Make someone’s day, every day.” This is one of the core values that make camp such an amazing place. At camp, people focus on the little things to make someone’s day. They do it every day. With this mindset in the "real world," we can bring just a piece of camp to life.
Camp Kanata Staff Trainee, 2013