For elementary school teacher Casey Moore, her favorite part of the camp is the bus ride home, but not for the reasons you make think. It gives her the opportunity to sit back and listen to the boisterous chatter of excited students recounting their favorite camp experience. These students converse on everything from the silly cabin stories, to the singing of campfire songs, to the pride they take in their willingness to step out and try new things. Accomplishments like “I can’t believe I touched a squid!” and “I shot an arrow and hit the target!” echo throughout the bus.
As a teacher in a low-income school, Casey witnesses firsthand just how meaningful and important camp is to these kids. While listening to a conversation some campers were having about cabins, one young camper opened up about what camp meant to him. The camper reveled that camp was the first time he had ever slept on a bed. Camp Seymour gave this young man a chance to experience childhood. He was able to sleep in a bed, eat family style, and participate in activities with his peers a kid. This ability to attend camp was a gift for him.
Camp provides the kids in the Arlington School District with memories that will last them a lifetime. “For each of my students, camp is a living memory,” says Casey. “A memory that they will use a means to connect when they move onto middle school. A memory that they will excitedly share with their own fifth grader as they prepare to attend camp.”