Hi my name is Nyx, I’m a current (2018) UniCorp Volunteer for Session 8 – Transitional Youth Empowerment. This will be my second season in UniCamp as a volunteer. I am also an old camper.
I was first introduced to UniCamp in the summer of 2006, and since then I have taken part in twelve separate sessions as a camper. When I was contacted about whether or not I could talk about my experience as a camper, I was stoked. I love camp, and I love talking about camp, but I realized I needed to figure out what I would talk about. How do you summarize 12 sessions or 9 summers in a short speech? Well you don’t, you can’t. Even if every week is at the same location and you have the same overall schedule, there is no replicating any one week. Sure you wake up, go to breakfast line up, eat, do your duties, rotations, repeat for lunch and dinner, then night activities and finally time to sleep. Still, everyday you learn something new. I don’t mean I learned a new academic fact or life lesson, which do come up because well, Bruins and dedicated volunteers are running this, but rather, something new about someone, and sometimes the someone is yourself.
My first session I was a quiet but curious little body. Yes, I know I’m still little, but I felt small and a somewhat afraid walking in to camp. I grew up in a strict and small household, where my parents wouldn’t really let us go out or hang out with friends. I was genuinely surprised when I found out my mom had signed me up for a whole week of camp, and didn’t know what to expect. UniCamp had advertised at my school so a few of my classmates were there, and was one of my cousins and my aunt. She and I were actually placed in the same unit. You’d think that would give me enough comfort to be louder and explore more, but we were both reserved and used to a different environment. As the week progressed, I started coming out of my shell. I sang along, laughed, made friends, and had fun. I’m not sure if it was the day we got picked up, or a few days after when the family was together, that Serendipity (my aunt), Spearmint (my cousin), and I ended up in the same car, and we were singing “Bazooka-Pooka Bubble Gum” out the window inside a parking structure. Hearing the echoes, it almost sounded like my Woodseys were there singing along. I remember comparing the sound of the river to the noise of the cars passing by in the freeway next to my apartment. Camp withdrawals are definitely a thing.