Gabby Mendoza

Camp Kennybrook

MX, Camp Counselor

If they ask me, Summer 2022 was the best summer of my life. I arrived at Camp Kennybrook on June 15th, 2022. We were like 25 counselors and it was 9.00 pm when we arrived at camp. That first night I wanted to come back home because I have never been away from my parents or my school and I have never been in a camp. I wasn’t able to sleep that night, but at the time I didn’t know that two months later I wouldn’t want to leave.

When the orientation started it only took me the first activity to realize that I wanted to be there. I learned so many things in the orientation, I met new people and I did things I wouldn’t be able to do at home. For example, one day my friends that were practicing for the wall needed some volunteers to practice climbing the wall. The first day I said no and I promised I’d never do it. The
second day I decided to try it. So I went across the lake and I climbed the wall twice. When I was up I realized that I was able to do anything I set my mind to and that’s what camp does. They help you get out of your comfort zone.

After orientation, when the kids arrived I was so scared because I had worked in Mexican camps before but not in camps where you stayed to sleep. I had the eight and nine years old girls and it was the most difficult and funny challenge I’ve had. They were fun, loving, each had their own personality, restless and were the best girls I could have had. One week ago I was looking at my photos and I realized I miss them so much. I miss having fun with them, I miss playing with them, having breakfast, lunch and dinner with them. Taking care of kids is learning every single day, you think you are teaching them things but it’s all the way around. I learned a lot of things with them. Taking care of them was challenging because each one of them is different, they think differently, they feel different, so you have to be able to know them and connect the right way with them in order for them to have fun and also behave well.

My most difficult challenge was taking care of the kids and adapting to live in a place far away from home and different. But the most difficult thing to do in camp was leaving. My heart broke when I left. Why? because I was going to miss what I did every day and the people I lived with. My day at camp Kennybrook started running at 6.30 am into the woods, then I took a shower and when I was already changed I heard the music that they use to wake us up. Every day was full of different activities where you play with the kids like cooking, tennis, arts & crafts, soccer, wall, swimming, among others. We had at the end different activities and because my bunk was with little girls we had milk and cookies. My roomies were the best, we had so much fun and now they are like my sisters even though we don’t live in the same place anymore.

Being at camp Kennybrook this summer was the best choice that I could ever take. Camp Kennybrook is my summer home and my second family