Camp Is…

Molly Hott is the director of 92Y Passport NYC, a Jewish overnight camp based in New York City focusing on fashion, film, music, culinary arts, and musical theater.

mollyA very close and longtime friend read my first blog post and reminded me of a piece I had written years ago that I only shared with some of my nearest and dearest … my camp friends.  There was a point in my life and career when I couldn’t imagine living without camp but couldn’t configure how camp would fit in my life as an occupation.  There were so many positive experiences that connected me to camp, to my friends, my personal growth and acceptance and with all of those experiences came great emotion.  From that great emotion came:

CAMP IS…
Molly Hott, June 27, 2008

Camp is where I learned to be me
And where I let you know, it’s ok to be you

Camp is where I learned to make friends
And where I learned to be a friend

Camp is where I learned how to make my bed
And where I taught others about the importance of hospital corners

Camp is where I saw my first remembered sunset
And where I shared my first remembered sunrise

Camp is where I learned to hold hands confidently
And where I shared the importance of having a hand to hold

Camp is where I cried myself to sleep missing home
And where I cried so hard I couldn’t breathe when I had to leave

Camp is where I saw my first starry night
And where I shared the sighting of my first shooting star

Camp is where I sang and cheered until I had no voice left
And where I learned that my voice would never really come back

Camp is where I learned to respect, my counselors, my campers, my friends and myself
And where I learned about disciplining my staff, my campers, my friends and myself

Camp is where my sister and I became friends
And where I learned that my friends would become my sisters

Camp is where I learned to try everything and anything
And where I learned my strengths and weaknesses

Camp is where I learned that tears of joy can overwhelm you at any time
And where I learned that those tears turn to the greatest memories

Camp is where I learned to laugh until it hurt
And where I learned that laughing is the best medicine

Camp is where I learned to live with others and share common space
And where I learned that wearing the same thing every day is cool

Camp is where I learned how to separate my laundry
And where I learned that I would come home with none of my own clothes

Camp is where I learned I would sleep my deepest and most comfortably
And where I learned that waking up next to your friends every morning is treasured

Camp is where I learned about music and how to change the words to every great song
And where I learned that singing at the top of your lungs anywhere at any time with camp friends is acceptable

Camp is where I learned to love my counselors, my campers and my friends for who they are
And where I learned that each of these people would somehow remain in my life forever

Camp is where I learned about tradition, culture and spirit
And where I learned that these things can change but still remain the same

Camp is where I learned that there is no greater place to be
And where I learned that there is no greater experience for a child, an adult and for me

Camp is where I learned to be me
And where I let you know, it’s ok to be you.

To read this back, almost 5 years later and know that my feelings remain the same is amazing.  My relationships remain as strong if not stronger and my love of camp and the experiences it has enabled me to create continue to develop way beyond my wildest dreams…

Posted on March 22, 2013

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