The year I got my Wholly Rollers III, I was a senior camper. It was my best summer at camp as a child and was the year I realized that camp would hold an important connection with me for the rest of my life. That summer, I earned a coveted award for being able to roll a kayak three times in a row on both sides of the boat. I also navigated my first big outtrip and after weeks of swimming lengths in the lake, I failed my Bronze Medallion. While the highlights of my time make it easy to explain that particular summer, it wasn't the things I did that made such a mark. Now, almost 20 years later, I remember the summer I was 13 like it was yesterday. It was the year that my counsellor Boyd, taught me about the person I wanted to be. This single lesson summarized in my mind, the true value of the camp experience. Never before in my life had I felt as secure and confident as those two weeks I lived with seven other boys and the coolest counsellor at camp. Our cabin was proud to boast that we were Boyds Kids only hours after we first arrived. He managed to earn our trust and loyalty by the end of the first day. We were ready to do anything for him, and somehow we knew he'd do no less for us in return. There were so many things I admired about him; characteristics I never forgot as I grew up. Boyd listened to us. I remember thinking then as I still do now, that often adults donÂ't listen! Perhaps it's because the issues of youth seem simple to grownups who have experiencedÂ those same emotions hundreds of times since they were kids themselves. Perhaps that repetition makes the topics now seem boring. Boyd never dismissed us. Not only did he listen, but he took the time to get to know us as a cabin. Our likes and dislikes, fears and interests. He also never missed a chance to introduce us to other staff and campers as we travelled throughout camp. I always felt important when I was with him and always felt part of whatever was going on. In watching over me while I was at camp, Boyd taught me the value of inclusion. Just as it did with me, being inclusive makes everyone feel important and part of the group. Even though it was my best summer, the session wasn't all easy for me. In the senior cabin beside me, there was a kid that I didn't get along with. He was loud and obnoxious, your typical bully. He would often try to single me out or embarrass me, which became a real obstacle in my time. A week into camp, I told Boyd about my problem. By then I was certain I could trust him, exposing my insecurity and frustration, I believed he would have an answer. After listening to my problem, he thought for a moment, then offered simply three points: don't ignore it, don't be embarrassed by it and don't worry about it. That simple advice made me feel better and in the end, to my surprise, he was right. Later that night he put us together in an activity where we had to work together. In helping me through my problem Boyd taught me that when you are up front and honest about how you feel, anything is easy to overcome when you have the support of someone you trust and believe in. I have endless tales to tell of my 13th summer of life. As time moves forward and my experiences become more vast, never do those memories fade, not even a little. They reside in me with such strength. While I know that those memories have changed slightly over time, and my counsellor, whom I remember to be perfect, is probably not so perfect in reality, the lessons he taught me about the person he was have stayed with me. They have shaped me into the person that I am today. While I never profess to be perfect, I'm proud of the person I am. Not a day goes by that I am not grateful for those opportunities I had as a child; to be at camp, to learn outside and to grow. Those short summer weeks when I was encouraged to take risks, to challenge myself, to overcome fear and to learn how to trust. How fortunate I am that now, as an adult, my job gives me the opportunity to provide meaningful memories, like the ones I had, to hundreds of campers each summer.