It’s the fall of my senior year of college and I can’t help but think back on all of the experiences that got me to where I am today. I often find myself thinking of the seven years spent at Camp Runoia in particular. At Runoia I learned the importance of female friendship, having confidence and patience while trying something new, taking time to be goofy and weird, all while discovering my love for Maine and the outdoors.
I had an amazing six summers as a camper, and each school-year was spent counting down the days until I could return to my favorite place surrounded by my summer sisters. I returned as a counselor in training and during that summer our CIT group did a college tour of Colby College in Waterville, ME. It was the first college campus I visited and I remember not being very impressed looking at a bunch of brick buildings on an empty campus. But a couple years later when I was applying to schools I realized how much that visit meant. From the ages of nine to fifteen all of my favorite memories came from camp – the friendships I made, sailing on Great Pond, Junior Maine Guide, Sunday night campfires, peanut butter pie and everything in-between. So, when choosing a college, it just seemed right to pick a school ten minutes from Lucy Weiser Lane where all of my favorite memories took place.
My experiences at Runoia have come to life so often during my past three years at Colby. I make every effort to engage in outdoor activities, to form deep friendships, and to have confidence in my classes the same way I grew confidence solo skippering for the first time. At school, I am a pre-orientation leader for freshman and this year I led a trip to Tumbledown mountain. I couldn’t help but sing a camp favorite “In a little town there is Mount Tumbledown…” over and over until all my freshman could sing along with me. I remembered my experience as a camper so clearly – hiking Tumbledown on a day trip, and feeling so accomplished when we made it to the lake marking how close we were to the summit. Runoia gave me a love of adventure, and taught me to love the rewarding feeling when you summit a mountain even if you’re a little cold, or tired, or it starts to rain.
I’m thankful for Runoia for giving me the confidence to pursue my passions and for instilling the importance of friendship and always supporting and loving those around you. I’ll never forget the countless memories I made at camp surrounded by all the campers, counselors and directors who made it feel like home.