Besides all of these things creating a perfect storm, there were many great things about my first week of camp. In particular, some of the other guys in my campsite were very funny and turned out to be my friends for years to come, and the medical staff that week was very warm and encouraging, especially as she glued my glasses back together 5 times that week.
I experienced serious "culture shock" that week! Any camp is a departure from home. Not only was I getting less sleep and being more physically active, the facilities were not like home. I also didn't like the food. I really was unprepared for the week of camp mainly since I did not know what to expect. I only had the reassuring word from my FFA advisor to get me involved.
That was 1989 and this is the now the 21st Century. Since then camp has made several major facility improvements, increased enrollment, hired full time staff that hire much better seasonal staff, and created a much better culture for today's teens. Most importantly, we now have the ability to share what we do with our future campers 10x better than we did then.
Here are the 5 things any parent and camper can do together to determine if Oswegatchie is the best place for a camper.
- Visit our family of websites at www.oswegatchie.org to learn as much about us as possible. For summer camp, focus on www.oswegatchiecamp.com .
- Visit our Facebook page, read the posts, and look through the photos. We have thousands of photos that show you life at camp. Look at comments as well to get extra info!
- Read our brochure, especially the parents page to get a grip on smaller bits of information.
- Give us a call at (315) 346-1222 and talk to Bill Waite, Camp Director. I will talk endlessly about camp, especially if you list some questions for me.
- VISIT Oswegatchie! We have employees here year round ready to tour. The camp director will be clear about what you will experience and what things you should mentally prepare for at camp. Call ahead anytime for any date. We also have a camp open house the same day as our major fundraiser Adironduck Race! Even a 4 hour drive one way is a good investment of time compared to having the "worst week of your life".
Looking back on my first week of camp, I did have fun and as time moved on, I remembered all of the great and forgot the bad. I did go back for another 3 summers and had the best weeks of my life. That made all the difference since I eventually worked on summer staff and became a year round employee at Oswegatchie! Its now my problem if someone has a bad week at camp.
Lastly, the medical staff from that week at camp has remained a life long supporter of camp and I still see her on a regular basis. She married another Oswegatchie staff member from the 1980s. Her 3 children all went to camp, and one of her daughters is now a summer employee. Its interesting how life comes full circle!
2000 - present