The End of my Summer Adventure

by Jeremy Chance

Hey everyone!

Well, this post is coming from good ole West Lafayette, Indiana. Okay, so it’s Lafayette since I’m staying at my little brother’s place right now…regardless, it is not North Carolina, where I’ve spent the past 2 and a half months.

It’s pretty unfortunate that I’m already home, considering I thought I was going to be out there another 2+ weeks. Due to a lower than anticipated enrollment, there wasn’t a need for a second guy counselor for the remaining three weeks, so my contract ended this past Saturday. Although I was less than pleased with the way in which I found out about that, I’m not going to dwell on it and mar what had been probably the best and most rewarding summer experience I’ve had.

I will admit, it’s great to be home. I love being here at Purdue, and it’s really nice to be back around family and close friends. After being home for Jon and Kate’s wedding for a few days, and then being here for a day and a half for Strand’s wedding, it really ended up being kind of tease being home for those few days. I got back to camp and was almost more homesick than I was leading up to the wedding. In that regard, it’s nice to be home again, although I’m crashing with my little brother since I can’t quite move in to my new place just yet.

It’s also kind of nice to have a break before the craziness of the semester kicks off. Originally my plan was to be out in North Carolina through the 13th, drive home the 14th and be back for some training on the 15th, with the semester starting the following Monday. Coming back when I did, I’ll end up with about two and a half weeks before that training gets started. It’s given me a chance to relax a little bit, and hopefully in the next few days/weeks I can get myself organized and ready to go. I have some really great opportunities coming up this semester that I’m really looking forward to. I just hope I can be prepared enough going in that I’m not overwhelmed from the get-go.

But as I posted on either Facebook or Twitter, it was bittersweet leaving…perhaps more bitter than sweet. For starters, it’s definitely not the same waking up and not seeing the gorgeous Blue Ridge mountains outside. I can’t run up 276 to the Parkway. I can’t relax with the campers down at the swim hole. I can’t go hiking through the woods. As much as I love Indiana, it’s just not nearly as beautiful or scenic as it was in North Carolina, so I definitely miss that.

I already miss those kids. Even though the number of campers there for the final three weeks was pretty much cut in half, a lot of those were kids who were there from the very beginning. These were kids I had seen push themselves and work so unbelievably hard to lose the weight they had. To not be able to be there at the end to see how much progress they’ve made over the course of 12 weeks really bothers me. I’m not blaming anyone for me not being able to be there. The circumstances didn’t require another guy counselor, and I know Ian will do a great job the last three weeks, especially with the help of Head Counselor Dana. I just selfishly wish I could be there at the end with them.

I also really miss the staff. Although everyone was so different and unique, we all seemed to be there for the same purpose. Each one of us had our own strongpoints and areas of expertise, and to put us all together was a really cool experience. We had staff from all over the country, and even a handful from out of the country, and I was very fortunate to be a part of such an awesome group of staff members. It was great having the male co-counselors that I did. Zech, Ian and Jarrett were all great guys. We all seemed to have different styles, but I think we all complemented each other so well. The female counselors were phenomenal as well. The behavioral coaches were great! And the field staff created such a cool experience for the campers and staff alike out on trips. We spent so much time together over the course of two and a half, three months, it’s really weird to not be around them anymore. I really hope we all keep in touch as much as we said we wanted to.

The thing that probably sucked the most was the fact that I had to drive back and forth twice in a week. I drove home for the wedding on Wednesday the 18th, spent my time at home and drove back to North Carolina Sunday the 22nd…just to work a week and turn around and drive back home a week later. That was kind of frustrating for me, especially considering I had an opportunity to fly home for the weddings. Trust me, I enjoy driving more than the average person, but to have to do that drive twice in a week really sucked. At least on the way back this time, I was able to break it up with a few visits. I stopped in Knoxville, TN, for coffee with Katrina, and again in Lexington, KY, for a beer and pizza with Steve. The stops really broke up the monotony of a 9-hour drive; plus it was great to catch up with some people I hadn’t seen in a while. All in all the drive home wasn’t bad, just kind of inconvenient having to make it twice in a week’s time.

You can look back at any of my previous posts from camp to see how I really felt about the opportunity I had this summer, so I won’t spend too much more time talking about it. But I just want to reiterate one more time how truly blessed I was to have had the opportunity to work with the staff that I worked with doing what we were doing, motivating and inspiring kids, helping them change their lives for the better. It was such an amazing experience for me. Sure, it’ll look great on my resume, and I’m thankful for that. But more importantly, working with those campers has really inspired me, and reaffirmed to me that I have made the right choice in changing my career path. I know I want to spend my career working with adolescent weight loss, and my summer at Wellspring Adventure Camp in Canton, North Carolina, has solidified that choice and enhanced my passion for health and fitness.

So, as happy as I am to be back at Purdue, and as much as I’m looking forward to the upcoming year of experiences, a little part of me will be in North Carolina for the next three weeks while my WAC kids finish up.

Until next summer when I’ll hopefully be heading back out to the breathtaking scenery of North Carolina to work with a new group of kids and hopefully as much of the same staff as possible, I’ll be back to the grind here at Purdue and taking in another year of experience here around campus!

Thanks to all of those who followed my blog while I was out there. Per usual, I didn’t post nearly as much as I wanted, but I hope I updated adequately enough to keep you all informed. I plan to continue blogging throughout the semester. I start my clinical work this semester, working with clients and gaining some unique experience there. And the new recreational sports center opens up, so I’m stoked to begin working there.

Plus I have a half marathon I’ll be training for, as well as trying to learn how to swim so I can become a legit triathlete.

Thanks again, and hopefully now that I’m back around I’ll get to chat with all of you! Take care!