PRINCETON, Ind. (WFIE) - Some students in the Tri-State are trading in their desks for a canoe during this summer camp season.
Officials at Camp Carson in Princeton, Indiana say that camp plays a special role for kids, giving them a chance to be themselves and connect with people who accept them for who they are.
“It’s really fun and you’ll regret it if you don’t come because it’s so much fun," said Evie Striegel, a three year camper out at Camp Carson.
Striegel says that camp was scary at first, but once she settled in she felt right at home.
“As the week went on I was really happy and excited and when it came time to leave I was really sad because I wanted to stay forever," Striegel said.
It wasn’t just the activities that camp has in store that brought Striegel back. In fact, for most campers the games and sports and group activities brought them to summer camp, but it’s the people they meet and the counselors that they connect with that create an environment they want to come back to.
“You can be accepted for who you are," says camp counselor Bobby Racey. “Challenged with all of our activities and then empowered through: one, achieving small goals or big goals or even trying something new and outside of your comfort zone.”
Racey, who spent summers as a child at Camp Carson, is now going on his seventh season as a camp counselor.
“[I] was able to kind of hang out and live a part of life a part of life that I’ve never lived before with all of these kinds of activities and then also meeting the people and having that bond with that unit," Racey said. "And then low and behold, the last 15 years I haven’t missed a summer.”
“Along with doing the traditional camp activities, relaxing and having fun, they can sit down on the porch of their cabin and have a conversation with a friend who truly understands their world and the struggles that they go through," said Camp Carson Executive Director Mark Scoular. "In a world where everything is changing so fast and things are looking so different all the time, camp stays pretty consistent. It’s kind of like going back to Grandma’s house in some ways.”
Scoular says that consistency, the connection is what creates that feeling of home away from home.