Lessons from Girl Guide Camp
Inch by Inch Chronicles – Lessons from Girl Guide Camp
Monthly Featured Blog Writer: Aime Hutton
Welcome back to this blog! We are halfway through summer! We made it! How are you all doing? What were your kids up to this past month? Especially if they went to camp. We all know this year’s summer is different. I know that to be true. I want you to pause and think of memories for a moment. Did you go to summer camp away from home? If you did not that is okay too. Some have asked me why was summer camp so important to you Aime? And then I was also asked why would anyone want to work at a summer camp?
So, for this month’s blog I wanted to take you on a little journey of the world I lived in my Jr. and Sr. High school days during the summer. And hopefully show you why summer camp was such an integral part of my growing up years. I started going to camp when I was 6 or 7 years old for a week for Brownies. I was homesick yes for the first couple of days the first year or so of me going to camp. However, as I grew older and the bullying started in school, I found that camp was one of my safe spaces to be me.
“I developed my leadership skills, teamwork skills, and my ability to use my voice to speak what was needed to be heard.”
When I went to camp, I was not called names like stupid, ugly, dumb, retarded, or loser. I was cheered on by my Guiders. The other girls at my camp site each summer were happy to see me. Looking back at this time in my life now, this was very noticeable to me when I was in Pathfinders. Each summer when I was a Pathfinder the week away at camp was the highlight of my summer. We had so many adventures. I can remember walking from the camp site down into the town of Haliburton, ONT and going for ice cream. I remember helping to lead the all-camp campfires. I developed my leadership skills, teamwork skills, and my ability to use my voice to speak what was needed to be heard.
When I was 15, I was on the path to becoming a lifeguard. I chose to apply to a month-long camp to enhance my lifeguard and waterfront skills. I wanted to work at either my Provincial Girl Guide Camp called Doe Lake, or at my Area Camp for Girl Guides called Camp Adelaide. When I was there, I pushed myself to do the best I could. I learned how to both sail and windsurf in a month. And even though I did not pass the program I was recommended to apply to my Area Girl Guide Camp as a waterfront staff for the following summer.
“I was cheered on by my Guiders.”
Between the ages of 16 and 23 I worked at different summer camps. Much of this time was at Camp Adelaide. However, the final three years of me working at a summer camp was for two different YMCA camps for both the spring and summer programs. This was a stretch for me, it was a challenge. As I had never worked at a co-ed camp before. And I had only attended a co-ed camp once as a camper when I was 15 and attended a weeklong sports camp, where I focussed on competitive swimming.
“When I was there, I pushed myself to do the best I could.”
When I worked at the summer camps, I saw the need to help girls who were just like me at age 13 to feel like they belong. To remind them that their voice does matter and needs to be heard. I could tell who the ones were being bullied at school. They were a lot of the time the shy ones. A lot of the time the girls felt safe with me as I opened to them about my school year days of the bullying. I can remember one young camper scurry up to me and reach out and hold my hand when we were walking one evening along the camp road at YMCA Camp Chief Hector here in Alberta. I had to be strong for her. I squeezed her hand slightly and smiled down at her.
“To remind them that their voice does matter and needs to be heard.”
The reasons for working at summer camp for me was a way for me to give back to help girls younger than me feel safe at camp. I found my confidence at camp and wanted other girls to do the same. For those of you reading who went to camp, you may remember the activities, the songs sang at campfire, and the friendships you made. However, I bet you will also remember how the camp counselors, waterfront staff, or activity staff made you feel. I hope in reading this you smile and think back to when you were a camper.
Your kids will return to camp next summer. And it is my hope that they develop life long amazing memoires just like you did.
Inch by Inch Empowerment Leaders on Facebook.
It is time to raise the next generation of future leaders better. If you are a parent or caring adult who works with youth the time is now. I have created a face book group for Mums and teen daughters where the daughter is the target of bullying currently, or in the past. The Mums want connection to adults who ‘get them’, and the daughters want to feel safe online. It is a safe space to ask questions, share a bullying story. It is a Facebook group that is full of inspirational quotes, posters/memes, music videos, article and so much more. I would love to invite you and welcome you there. Search Inch by Inch Empowerment Leaders on Facebook.
If you have any questions, or comments please reach out to me. firstname.lastname@example.org I am here to help and be of service to you the reader.
More About Aime Hutton
Aime Hutton is a true miracle survivor. Being born 3 months early was just the start of the challenges Aime has overcome in her life time. Hailing from Calgary, Alberta Canada, as a Youth Diversity Advisor, Aime helps educators facilitate safe spaces for young female students so they can instill connection, inclusion, and courage in themselves. As a 5-time international best-selling author/compiler
Aime shares hope, healing, and inspiration through her writing. She was a finalist for the International Femtor Awards 2015 for eWomenNetwork in the category of Business Matchmaker from Dallas, Texas, USA. Being 1 of 6 in North America, and the only Canadian. In 2017 Aime was awarded the Peace & Friendship Award by Diversity Magazine in Alberta for being one who celebrates, accepts, and learns from the Indigenous people of Canada.
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