Kyle DiMaggio (2006)

Kyle DiMaggio
August 18th, 2006

When offered an opportunity to reflect on the profound effects and the value of camp to me such as this, I truly feel overwhelmed. Despite the fact that I could easily write about how amazing camp has been for me, I think that’s where the problem is when it comes to keeping this concise and to-the-point. It’s that camp has been so full of wonderful and sentimental experiences that I could easily write a novel. With this, I apologize. While I’ll try my best to portray what I intend to, I feel that my camp experience is beyond words.

In fact, I feel any description attempting to define how amazing camp truly is would be an understatement. To me, a verbal description is nothing like experiencing camp firsthand. On paper, it seems like any other overnight camp, but it’s the dynamic combination of the eccentric staff, the tranquil camp ground, and the unique group of campers that all share deep connections that make the experience so unique. It has the power to draw people in completely and keep them coming back for years and years.

At first, camp was once something for me to confide in. However, as more years passed, I took each year’s experience home and channeled it into a motivation to better and enlighten myself culturally. Personally, I feel that it’s the most important thing I’ve gained from camp. With this feeling of motivation, camp has become less and less of a need for me. This need has waned because of the confidence and sense of self acceptance I’ve gained at camp itself, which is something I’ll always have even when I can no longer be at camp.

While I’m still relatively immature and obnoxious, I think I’ve definitely matured into a much deeper person largely due to camp and the relationships I’ve established here. What I’ve found very rewarding is how people have slowly changed their impression of me, especially those at camp who have known me since I’ve started coming. It’s given me a sense of gratification that’s truly unexplainable.

This year has definitely been one of my best, and I’m happy it’s the one I’m ending it with. The senior guys this year were truly amazing, and it was definitely an honor to get to know them all. Through the epically manly experience of campout, to just hanging out with them at free time, this group of guys was just amazing. I even branched out more than I’ve done in the past and got to become friends with a few of the intermediates and juniors, and honestly I came to realize I can relate to them so much more than I initially thought. And from all the amazing experiences this year from losing my voice from belting out the Buffalo Song so much, to our cabin’s amazing conversations before we all fell asleep, to sharing our bunks on those cold camp nights, this year was definitely one to remember.

In addition to my actual experiences at camp and the friends I’ve spent them with, the staff has played a large role in my time at camp. I’d especially like to thank the staff members that I’ve had that have looked past my flaws and appreciated the deeper aspects of my personality. To Jeff Cho, Tae Lim, Kavin Chung, and Edmond Cha, thanks so much for not only listening to and understanding me, but thank you for also being older brothers to me. In addition, I’d like to thank the staff for their continued devotion to this program; as there would be no camp without them.

In closing, I’d like to emphasize how amazing I think this camp is, it was such an honor to write something held in such high regard, and I hope that what I’ve wrote here truly portrayed the profound effect it’s had on me. I just hope that the younger campers keep on coming, and develop a love for this camp that I have.