25 Stories: Dvonte Johnson

Camp participant, Leader-in-Training, and counselor (2002-present)

I’ve been coming to camp since 2002 and I started at the Malibu camp when it was called Camp Pacific Heartland [it’s now called Camp Hollywood HEART] and then I came here [to Willow River] as an LIT and I’ve come here ever since. My favorite camp memory would have to be my first year doing the AP, which is the adventure program here at Camp Heartland. I think that just got me to realize how how much of an impact camp has on both me and the kids who come. I think that was the best week of my camp life.

What I love most about camp would have to be the acceptance of it. I think I was afraid that I wouldn’t be accepted as a staff member. But as I went up and up, people saw me no different and I felt comfortable with it, so I was like, OK, I can do this.

“People saw me no different and I felt comfortable with it, so I was like, OK, I can do this.”

Camp Pacific Heartland was always artsy, so we always did artsy stuff. I did the film stuff in Malibu when I was like 7. And I fell in love with it ever since. It was like, ooh, I love to tell stories like this. Here I was, a seven-year-old kid at camp making just small little videos, and now I’m 21 years old and I’m going to school for film. So that’s how much camp has impacted my life and kind of guided me to a professional career.

Camp is kind of hard to put into words, so you just have to come yourself to experience it and feel the magic of it, because words can’t really do it justice.


What’s your favorite camp memory?