Connections. We make them everyday. We have school friends, work friends and sports friends. We make friends with people of events and gatherings. Friendship is key to our success with all of our relationships and it can create a sense of purpose in our lives. But how do you make lasting connections? And why are the ones made at camp lifelong?
We posed this question to a few of our former campers turned counselors to get their input. Here is what they had to say:
Melanie Green, Camper 1999-2006, Staff 2010-present
“One of the best things I have gotten out of camp is the connections it brings in the real world. Of course, I’ll always have my friends I made at camp (both as a camper and as a counselor) but it never gets old running into people on the street and recognizing that you both went to Vega. I’ve found that Vega has found its way into my life in so many different ways. My best friend in college also went to Vega, and while we weren’t friends per se at camp, we instantly found each other in college and have been best friends since. There is no doubt in my mind that wherever life takes me I will always find a Vega connection.
“Camp Vega is special for so many things. But of of the things we are most proud of is the friendships made summer after summer and the bonds we see created. Vega is the summer home to thousands of women that have come through the front gate and set their sneakers down on the gravel. Vega will always be home.”
Madeline Kraft, Camper 2005-2010, Staff 2015-present
“In all of my years as a camper and staff member, I have realized that camp connections are different than any other friendship. The relationships grow deeper at a much faster rate compared to the ordinary world, where there are other distractions and obligations. Each summer, everyone experiences the same events/occurrences together as a tight-knit community. As much as we try explaining our experiences, our home friends never truly understand. Camp connections allow you to recount fond memories from your summers.
“Additionally, as a staff member, I have become close friends with people from all over the world. I was so excited to study abroad in London two years ago because it meant I could visit a ton of my close camp friends. It made my traveling that much more special, and my friends from college were jealous of my bonds. Being at camp gives you an instant connection with people, and it is amazing that you can gain lifelong friendships in just two months.”
Ava Levinson, Camper 2008-2014, Staff 2018-present
“It is the quality of the friendships made that makes a camp bond so strong — knowing all the little details about a person that comes only after spending so much time together. Camp allows children to just be themselves and get to know one another in a different environment. Camp provides shared experiences for children where they can learn together and bond through their activities, growing in confidence as they make new friends every single day.
“That’s the beauty of Vega, and camp friends more specifically. It’s one of the only places where you become friends with people not by what they’re wearing or where they go to school, but who they genuinely are. We continue to see each other in the most pure setting, and we really get to express who we are without judgement. My camp friends know me better than most people. We can sense each other’s nonverbal cues, and can keep up with everyone’s lives, while also living up to 3,000 miles apart.”
We know that Camp Vega is special. We watch all summer as friendships are made and grow. We see the bonds that are created by the shared adventures and shared secrets that create an unbreakable connection that last decades.