“Camp gives you the chance to be honest with yourself,” says Anthony. “And just be you.”
Anthony – who first participated in a One Heartland program as a camper in 2008, but returned this summer as a Leader in Training – is emblematic of One Heartland’s vision of a community where everyone has the opportunity to learn and grow. Program directors want everyone who visits camp – campers, staff, volunteers, Junior Counselors and Leaders in Training – to enjoy a transformative and positive experience.
Leaders in Training is a two week program for 16-year-olds where they are mentored by directors and full-time staff on how to best become a leader, and how to integrate those skills into their everyday lives. During their second week of camp, the trainees work directly alongside a cabin counselor.
Despite all the training the first week, and working with a cabin full of young campers the second week, Anthony was able to still enjoy the power that is camp. “One Heartland is a place where you are encouraged to go wild with the energy you have to hide in the ‘real world’.”
Anthony’s words echo that of each and every person that walks through the doors of camp. Whether it is for one week as a camper or all summer as a staff member, everyone benefits from camp and can find support and community to help them face the challenges they encounter in the ‘real world,’ no matter what those challenges may be. “It’s a place where you can reflect, spill out your monsters and leave with a great state of mind,” says Anthony.
And like almost all of One Heartland’s campers and staff members, Anthony plans on returning again to camp next summer, this time as a Junior Counselor.