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By: Quinn White
Photographer, Summer 2019
Anyone who has gone to summer camp understands that the friendships made in your own camp bubble are some of the most powerful connections you will make throughout your life. Each summer at Lochearn, campers and staff travel from every corner of the world. We each have an incredible opportunity to meet people we may not have met otherwise. Connections like these are unmatched, and allow girls to be exposed to new people, cultures, and experiences. Although many girls start the summer as strangers, by the end, they walk away as best friends.
As the camp photographer, it was my job to pay attention to the details. As the summer days passed by, I noticed many girls becoming close friends with one another. Seeing the magic of camp friendships unfold through the lens of my camera is an experience I will never forget.
Being a camp photographer has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. My days were filled with laughter, sunshine and making memories with campers and staff. I learned how to make friendship bracelets alongside campers, spent hours on the ski boats and enjoyed the s’mores bars more than anything this summer [Click here for the s’mores bars recipe!] I had so much fun at camp, but the best part of my entire experience was getting to see friendships grow between campers.
“My friendships at Lochearn have impacted my life by letting me know that I have friends wherever I go. I now have a friend in Japan, Massachusetts, New York, in California and in many other places. I feel connected to my friends even though we’re miles apart, and if I’m facing trouble it helps me to know they’re out there.” – Greta, Park City, UT
I took thousands of photos this summer, and the most memorable ones were of campers who have become best friends through Lochearn. There are many campers who met during their first year on Junior line who still continue to be friends as they become Seniors and beyond. I was told by many girls that they spend the school year counting down the days until they can return to Lochearn and daydreaming about all the fun they will have the following summer.
“My friendships at Lochearn have made such an impact on my life in so many ways. I have made lifelong friends that I will love forever and are always there for me. The friendships I have made at this camp impact my life every day from missing them so much to going to visit them during the year to just wishing they were there with you all the time. From FaceTiming each other for hours a night to seeing each other on Opening Day, you truly know they are there for you and will never leave your side even if they do live on the other side of the country. The friends I have made at Lochearn have made me who I am today, and I will always love them for that.” – Kate, Norwich, VT
Friendships made at camp are camp-wide, both among campers and among staff and everywhere in between. Spending a summer at Lochearn was an extraordinary experience for me. I made memories this summer that I will never forget, and friendships that I will cherish forever. The people I met at Lochearn have helped me open doors to opportunities that I may have never had otherwise. I made friends from around the world, and I learned a lot about myself in the process.
Camp is a wonderful experience for everyone who is a part of a camp community. Many counselors come to camp simply to help create everlasting bonds between campers. Helping a camper to make new friends is the most important part of a counselor’s job. Meeting someone new and learning more about their likes, dislikes, values and culture, while also getting to share their own, is the best way to expand one’s understanding of the world around them. Campers view staff as role models and they often form strong bonds together. Not only do campers look up to staff, but staff greatly appreciate campers as well. The campers I met at Lochearn made my whole experience worth the while.
“As a camp counselor I’ve met lots of kids, staff and parents and every single one has changed my life. I’ve worked with kids who had no interest in the outdoors when they started and then by the end of the summer, hiking is their new favorite activity. I’ve made friends from all over the world and the United States. I even met my best friend who now lives in Australia! The last 3 summers as a camp counselor has given me leadership skills and things I could have never even dreamed of! I would highly recommend working at a summer camp for anyone wanting to broaden their horizons in friends and skills.” – Bekah, Gainesville, FL
Regardless of your role at camp or the reason you decided to go to summer camp, you are sure to form connections like no other. Campers and staff alike make friendships to last a lifetime. My summer at Lochearn was one of the best summers of my life. The experiences I had and the friendships I made will connect me to Lochearn for the rest of my life, something for which I am truly grateful.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we here at Camp Lochearn have been thinking a lot about being thankful. And because we’re part of the Lochearn family, we’ve got a whole lot to be thankful for. It’s not just sweet, gooey roasted marshmallows or spending a day on Lake Fairlee — Lochearn Lassies can be thankful for so many things, like:
Coming to camp gives you the opportunity to learn all about yourself. You not only learn skills like how to shoot a bow and arrow or make a mug in ceramics, but you also learn communication and independence — things that will stick with you long after the final sunset of summer. Whether you’re a first-time camper or a Lochearn veteran, there are always plenty of new faces on the first day of camp. One of the best parts of summer is creating relationships with campers and staff members while practicing good decision making and discovering how to be independent. There’s so much to learn about yourself and the world around you, and we encourage stepping out of your comfort zone to get the best Lochearn experience.
Campers and staff come from 20 countries around the world to spend the summer in Vermont at Lochearn. It’s easy to fit into our close-knit community of nice girls. Through the good times and the bad, you know there will always be a Lochearn Lassie somewhere who will be there for you year-round, whether you’re at camp or back at home. We grow together over the course of camp, celebrating each person’s uniqueness and encouraging one another to strive to be our best. And when summer comes to an end, we know we’re not saying goodbye for good, because camp friends are for life.
Lochearn’s lakefront cabins and welcoming facilities provide the perfect backdrop for all of the wonderful memories made at camp. It’s easy to call beautiful Vermont your home away from home. Your Lochearn memories are different than any memories made at home or while traveling elsewhere because you can be totally you, no matter how silly or spunky you are. Plus, you’re unplugged. Instead of worrying about posting on social media, texting or Snapchatting photos, we focus on being in the moment and communicating face-to-face. As we saw from generations of Lochearn Lassies last summer during our 100th year celebrations, your camp memories truly stay with you for a lifetime.
If the tall pine trees around Campfire Hill could talk, they’d tell 100 years’ worth of stories about girls gathering around the campfire, reflecting on weeks spent at Lochearn, singing songs and sharing stories centered around weekly themes. We live by a motto that encourages girls to make friends while upholding personal ideals, and we facilitate a deeper value of self, of others and of our environment. Honesty, kindness and positivity are three pillars that all Lochearn Lassies live by at camp as they “grow to have more courage and self-confidence,” and “take home an open mind and a kind and caring heart.”
We’re just under seven months from opening day, and we couldn’t be more excited! Knowing you’ve always got somewhere to come back to is such a cool part of Lochearn, because your favorite things will still be the same, but you’ll be a year older. You experience things in a different way year to year and can set new camp goals for each summer. Maybe this will be the summer you finally earn a purple in gymnastics or work up the courage to try wakeboarding for the first time. And if not this year, you know you’re always welcome back for the summers to come.