Karen McGillivray – My Y – Camp Kitchi

Karah M – Camp Kitchi

Yes, everyday people, may not understand but they can understand. Before I walked Kitchi sands, I was “everyday people” I did everything a 7 year old does; go to school, play with my friends, get chased by my older sister, etc. After spending my first week at Kitchi as a Waterbug in 2002, and slinging my 101 Dalmatians towel over my arm at closing campfire, I understood camp, and I soon understood what camp meant off of the island.

After being a camper for 10 years and a staff member for 3, I can confidently say that most kids who leave on a Kitchi boat heading back home will have positively changed. Once off the island, the feelings you have are hard to explain…literally; my parents would never really understand exactly what I was blabbering on about in the car ride home from Yorkdale. But with the excitement that my sister and I shared with them and the rapid, fire speed of our voices that was barley understandable, somehow they did understand and sent us back every year. Kitchi was the place where I could push myself with adventure and become skilled in many areas. I learned how to play guitar and achieved my sailing levels, and those two areas are now my passions in and out of camp. I grew into the personalities I saw in my role models during Leadership 1 and 2 and continued to form into the best version of myself that I currently strive for now.

Being a leadership facilitator this year changed my life, and gave me the opportunity to give back all that Kitchi gave me.  If I could give anything to anyone at any point in their life, it would be a camp experience, an opportunity to  find yourself amongst the raw land, ubiquitous sand that lingers long after you’ve been home, and the people that surround the site who all just seem to “get it”.  If everyone went to some kind of camp as a kid, I know from the absolute, bottom of my heart that the world would be a happier place and I can’t express it enough.

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