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Camp Confidence

I didn’t always have the confidence I do now. The idea of standing up on stage, or being in a large group of friends scared me, though I tried to cover it up. I felt as though I was too awkward to fit in, and I worried that people wouldn’t want to hear what I had to say. After moving from London to Connecticut soon after I turned six, and then switching schools again in two years, I found it easier to close myself off. I would sit on a swing during recess and read, and work on homework during snack. Although I had many people who I would call friends, I didn’t truly feel like I fit in. Camp definitely began to change that for me. From my first day (July 8th, 2012!!), I was swept up in the camp crazy that we all know and love, starting with Glop Night. From the moment I arrived, there wasn’t a second to doubt if I was fitting in, or if people wanted to spend time with me.

As summers progressed, I found myself breaking out of the shell I had put myself in. At home, I was auditioning for shows, starting to make friends with people I normally wouldn’t talk to, and learning to speak up and join in. At camp, I was also gaining confidence through trying new activities that I could never imagine doing at home. If you had told my eight-year-old self that she would know how to waterski, make stained glass, or be an avid archer, I would’ve called you crazy. And the best part is, it feels so natural. Running down the camp road in the pouring rain, swimming the triangle, or just spending time in the cottage talking with friends comes easily now. Camp is a magical place, where trying something new doesn’t have downsides; it can only end well. And when one person succeeds in something, the whole community is there to cheer them on. It makes it easy to feel confident. Although it’s daunting, when you get up on stage, you will have your friends waiting to cheer you on. And when you finally stand up in ski, hit the bullseye for the first time, or perfect that piece you’ve been working on in ceramics, it’s that much better to know that the new thing you tried has paid off.

It’s easy to be confident at camp. And when you feel intimidated by a new activity, or you’re unsure of who to talk to in the dining hall, remember that you have the support of all of the camp behind you. It may be scary now, but soon the fear will be a distant memory, and you’ll have tons of new friends to laugh with.

– Edie Roth, FDL Camper 2012 – current (2nd Year CT)

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