Young adults are looking forward. They're truly trying to determine who they are and where they fit in, as they figure out what path they'll take in life. With that in mind, they're searching out new experiences and finding mentors to help guide them, while at the same time looking to become more independent.
• Finding their niche
• Making friends with common interests and concerns
• Attaining experiences that will translate into future goals
For many young adults, camp means the chance for a last hurrah before they head out into the real world. They can hone their skills while seeing friends they’ve made over years of camp attendance. "Half of them want to work here, so they come and get the experience,” says Michelle Stockstill of Olympia Sports Camp. “And I think some of them come just for the pure enjoyment."
Even with two older brothers attending Camp Otterdale already at the time, 11-year-old Liam says he was a bit worried that he’d get homesick when he first started at the residential camp two years ago. He'd been attending day camps since he was three years old, but this was his first overnight camp.
Thankfully, the homesickness never seemed to transpire, and Liam quickly took to the residential camp experience. "I got used to it and it was really fun," he says. "My favourite thing was the activities that we did after we had dinner—capture the flag, tag, a lot of those things."
There was a time when Samuel dreamed of being in the NBA. His summers at Olympia Sports Camp in Huntsville, Ontario were part of that. There he practiced basketball, trying to perfect his game so that once summer was finished and he returned to school—and his basketball team—he’d be that much further ahead in his skills compared to the other players.
"It really helps with the season," he says. "There are many players who just take vacation during the summer. And me, I work hard in the summer to improve as much as I can. So it's really helped me for the basketball season."
He's since given up his dreams of the NBA, but still keeps coming back to Olympia, playing the basketball he loves while also trying his hand at baseball and strength training this past summer. In the process, he's been able to meet friends who share his similar interests.
"The other campers, you're with them 24/7, so you become friends with them really quickly and everything. And it's way easier to improve in the sports you like," says Samuel, who's been going to camp since he was eight years old. Now 16, he's been traveling from his home in Quebec to attend Olympia for the past four years.
The friends are a big part of what makes Samuel enjoy the camp experience so much, and between the friendships he's made and the sport skills he's been able to perfect, he's been happy to keep returning to Olympia each summer. By next summer, though, Samuel will be 17 and says he'll probably not come back to Olympia as a camper. But he does hope to return in another role. "I’m going to try to get a job here next summer," he says.
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