My first summer at Camp Mataponi, I showed up quaking in my Sketchers and clutching my stuffed moose…completely unprepared for what was soon to come. I watched my cousin race up to her friends from last summer while I made it alone to Bunk 4, where I promptly disappeared into my book until dinnertime. Thus, the beginning of my ten summers at Camp Mataponi anti-climactically began.
At age nine, I had already deeply immersed myself in the world of Harry Potter. As soon as I noticed the brooms in my bunk, I eagerly grabbed one and raced outside to mime a game of Quidditch. While my bunkmates were trading stationary and playing cards, I ran outside with my broom every day at rest hour, alone. But one day, as I pretended I was catching the Golden Snitch, I noticed that I was not alone. Kim, one of my bunkmates, had followed me outside. She mounted her own broom, locked eyes with me, and began to follow my pantomime. Silently, we continued our ride.
At Camp Mataponi, I learned many things, but the most important was the lesson that Kim taught me during my first summer. There is no shame in being whoever you truly are, and there are people who will embrace you for just being you. Honestly, ten years later, I haven’t changed too much from that girl who was convinced the brooms in her bunk flew. But I found friends who accepted me for my quirks and loved me anyway.
I have seen girls with completely different interests, tastes in clothes, and personalities grow up together and stay best friends through their camp experience and beyond. I have seen quiet girls morph into extroverts; and loud, outspoken girls fall instantly silent when enraptured in a friend’s story. For campers and counselors alike, camp has become a haven to foster friendships and build inner confidence. And although I never did get to go to Hogwarts, I soon realized I was a part of a place much more magical.
Summer camp brings out the best in each individual, and becomes a place where each camper and counselor invariably will call home.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.