Reflections from a teen camper and camp counselor
by Jackson Semenzin, Teen Camp
This will be my 7th summer attending Camp Firefly. I learn at Camp Firefly how to be more independent and social. It’s helped me at school because I started high school this year, and there were new people there just like at camp every summer. Learning how to meet new people at camp makes meeting new people the rest of the year less stressful.
I miss all the fun activities, and I miss everybody I know there. I keep coming back because I know what to expect and I get to see friends that I haven’t seen in a year. There are so many activities that I tried for the first time while at Camp Firefly, including swimming in a lake, archery, high-ropes course and hosting a radio show.
I would convince people to go if they aren’t very social, or they don’t do much outside of their home. It’s a great opportunity to be independent and learn how to have fun with new people. Camp is one of my favorite things to look forward to, and whenever I’m stressed, I always think about it. And it works. I tell my parents a lot that I wish I could live at camp because it’s my happy place.
by Lindsay McCool, Counselor
I’ve been a teen camp counselor at Camp Firefly for the last three summers. Through that time, I’ve witnessed campers of all ages conquer fears, develop friendships and enjoy all that camp has to offer! My favorite camp memory can’t be narrowed down to any one specific event, day or even summer at Camp Firefly. My favorite camp memory is the growth I’ve seen in each camper from the start of camp to the end. And for returning campers, the growth I’ve seen from year to year.
One particular camper comes to mind when I think of growth, conquering fears and developing friendships. This camper was at camp my first summer. Although he was not in my cabin, I watched that camper spend most of his two weeks watching others participate in activities and have difficultly developing friendships, despite the counselors’ best efforts to engage him. I’ve watched that camper grow during the past three summers. Last year, I had the pleasure of having him in my cabin. I was also pleased to see him break out of his shell. Last summer I saw the same camper, who was once on the sidelines, participate excitedly in paddle boating at the lake, swimming in the pool, playing Gaga with other campers, singing karaoke and laughing endlessly with his friends.
Camp Firefly is a co-ed therapeutic summer camp for kids aged 9-18 who oftentimes have difficulty connecting with peers and navigating social situations. For more information contact Elizabeth Robbin, Camp Firefly Director, at 847.412.4363