Camper to Counselor

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.


I stood on the platform above Corey Lake at Camp Eberhart, goosebumps slowly forming as my teeth chattered from the cold wind’s touch on my bare skin. My eyes fixated on the dark blue hues and the ripples forming in the water below me. My hands gripped my sides as I focused on my mission. My fellow counselors-in-training and I had been instructed to close our eyes and jump. I knew I wasn’t the only one petrified by the thought of plunging into a lake teeming of seaweed based on the reactions of my peers. I felt their eyes follow me as I ascended to the top of the ladder, waiting for me to finally accomplish this simple yet terrifying task. The thirty feet of air separating me from the lake appeared endless; doubts began to surface and I convinced myself that I lacked the courage to follow through.

These feelings of uncertainty were not foreign to me; as a child, every new situation was a thirty-foot jump. I found it difficult to adapt to new environments. When my mother married my stepfather, his presence brought a darkness into my once happy atmosphere. The dynamic was ruined and instead of vocalizing my true opinions of him, I remained silent. I idly sat by as everything around me changed. With each moment that I desired to...

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