Emma Wiedmer

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Emma+Wiedmer

Unusual Turn of Events

Being an eight-year-old overweight child with braces who really liked Minecraft was something that my parents did not want their child to be forever. I guess their decision was to send me off in the summer to what they thought was a fat camp. As it turned out, there was a surprisingly large summer camp located approximately twenty minutes away called Camp Mac. As it turned out, my mother had gone there and decided that it was my turn. 

As the days ticked by, I was nervously anticipating the day I would leave civilization for the woods. I had never been away from home for more than twelve hours, and I knew no one going to camp besides my sister. Even though I was very anxious, once I got to camp I immediately flourished. I was making friends and participating in everything camp offered. After that first summer at camp, I knew that I could not imagine a life without it. Ever since that summer, I have returned every year. 

Of the many places I have visited (Texas, New York, Costa Rica, Turks and Caicos, Aruba, Spain, Italy and France) summer camp is always my most enjoyable yearly adventure. Camp Mac is a rustic and secluded oasis among the pines in the Talladega National Forest. It allows children and teenagers to escape from the technology of the modern world. While some of those more exotic destinations offer luxury and unique opportunities, when I hear the word camp, it invokes warm memories and anticipation of the same experiences to come. 

When I hear this word, thoughts of laughter, activities, and friendships enter my head. Developing lifelong friendships with teenagers from all over the world gives me an insight into a variety of lifestyles while having fun and trying new things such as archery, horseback riding, and waterskiing. I now spend six weeks a year at Camp Mac, enjoying every minute of it. During the school year, when camp is mentioned,  I envision snapshots of the many memorable moments and experience a mood lift. 

As a camper and a counselor, I have developed numerous life skills: responsibility, punctuality, leadership, organization, assertiveness, and authoritative-decision making. When I use these skills in everyday life, I reflect on my camp experiences that promoted my growth in these areas. 

Even though being a camper was loads of fun and carefree, the most joy was brought to me when I became a camp counselor. It has allowed me to share all the experiences and knowledge that I have learned with the children I have encountered. Behind all my memories as a camper, there was a counselor that made my experience as great as it was. I enjoy being a role model for my campers and helping them to have the best summer of their lives. 

Camp has continued to make me step out of my comfort zone. From being a second grader who was scared to get on a horse to a scared senior who was scared to teach horseback to little kids, camp has challenged my mentality and allowed me to grow in ways I never thought possible. As a camper, I was always scared of horseback riding and never really overcame that fear. This past summer when I got to camp, the directors told me I would be teaching horseback. I was stunned. I hated horses, the smell, the dirt, and everything. After sixteen hours of training, I could ride a horse better than I ever could. Now that I was trained, I was equipped with the ability to share my new passion with children. 

When I heard the verdict that I was being sent into the woods for a month, I was initially mortified, but it turned out to be the most impactful thing that has happened in my life. I have a web of friends that spans the world, and I have life skills that I will use forever. 

Please click on the arrow below to hear Emma’s Senior Reading.