In celebrating our 50th anniversary, Adventure department head Charlie Cox shares the impact camp has had on him during the two decades he has spent here both as a camper and staff member.
Life is like a puzzle: lots of pieces that ultimately form some sort of picture. As the pieces begin to fall into place we find parts that don’t necessarily work where we want them to, and yet are still an essential part of creating the overall product. Other times we put the pieces together, a few here, a few there, and voila! The picture begins to make sense.
For me, camp is the place where all of the pieces begin to fit. When I first came to camp in 2000, I had no idea what I was in for. The first two weeks were pretty tough. I was a social kid, but had not acclimated as well as I hoped to the culture. My letters home said I wanted to leave, that I couldn’t wait for summer to be over.
Somewhere along the way my tune changed. I remember talking the entire way home about how much fun I’d had. I couldn’t wait to go back the next summer.
Fast forward a couple of years to 2010. It was my second year as counselor and I was a shadow for a camper with Autism. This experience was one of the most challenging and rewarding I have ever had, and enlightened me to my interest in caregiving, which I would later pursue as a career. HSJ was helping me put my puzzles’ pieces together in ways I had never imagined.
For me, that summer was crucial in my personal and professional development, and I credit it all to Jacobs magic. It was then that I learned that there truly is a power in this place, something that can’t be explained or defined. It brings generations of campers and staff together from over 25 states, and even sometimes from halfway across the world. It just…is.
As I embark on my 10th summer as a Jacobs Camp staff member during our 50th anniversary celebration I think about what can be taken away from my personal shechechaynu moment. It is this: When you find a place, person, or entity that you love and would do anything for without question, that makes your puzzle go from pieces to picture, hold on to that as long as you can. Cherish it every moment, do not take it for granted. It will be with you in times of joy as well as times of OY. Be grateful that you were able to experience it in your life and find a way to share that with others. No matter the distance, both in literal miles and figurative time, you will always find comfort, you will always find yourself, you will always have home.