Saying Goodbye:

Saying goodbye is hard. Saying goodbye at the end of summer camp is really hard. The relationships campers and staff make with people at camp and with camp itself are hard to let go of when camp is over.

Campers build friendships and create memories they will take with them through the school year. Some campers correspond with their camp friends during the school year. Others wait until they see each other back at camp the following summer. Either way, the connections children make at summer camp are lasting. The camp environment helps foster the lifelong skills of friendship building and face to face human interaction.

For campers, saying goodbye to their counselor can be difficult. A campers counselor is a big brother/big sister, role model, mentor, parental figure and rock star all rolled into one. The bond campers share with their counselor is special and can be life changing. Counselors help shape their campers. For counselors, saying goodbye to their campers can be difficult as well. Counselors quickly become close to their campers as they lead them and help guide them through their camp experience. What counselors learn from working with campers helps mold them into more patient, flexible and well rounded adults. Campers help shape their counselors. Saying goodbye to each other at the end of camp isn’t easy.

For counselors, saying goodbye to their fellow staff members at the end of the summer can be extremely hard. These are more than co-workers. These are the people they have worked, played and lived with for the better part of three months. They have shared laughs, stories, challenges, ups, downs and living quarters for the summer under the safety and fun of the “camp bubble.” When camp is over and a staffs final goodbyes are said, the reality of, and the transition to the world away from camp hits quickly.

Campers and staff members are brought together at camp from different places and backgrounds to share in the specialness that is summer camp. That specialness is reflected in a camps traditions and culture and is shaped by its program and facilities. These are the cornerstones of a summer camp, but what makes saying goodbye so hard at the end of camp are the people. People you may have just met. People you may have known for years. Either way, you are all camp people now and saying goodbye when camp is over to those who share your summer camp experience is never easy.