Junior Staff Stories & Experiences
I've Been Where They’ve Been
I look normal, and I try to feel normal but I'm different. And I accepted that NOW and that's because of Camp. I have more confidence in myself; I accepted regular Candice and Candice with sickle cell. I think positive and I’m grateful for the life I have. During my years as a camper I met people just like me, people who KNOW me and what I go through medically. It was so beautiful. It was my home, a planet, a separate country because for a week every year I was surrounded by people like me and we didn't have to worry about a thing but enjoy our lives as if we didn't have a chronic illness. This past summer, I met people who will be in my life forever. Madison, a girl from a small town In Massachusetts who was a stranger to me but from living with her for 2 weeks she is now one of my best friends. Or even Mani and Alicia, two 16-year-old girls who look to me as their big sister and that’s not just because of our common diagnosis but because the love is genuine and I've been where they’ve been.
An Incredible Experience
I learned how much work goes into making camp such a magical place, but it was also one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Knowing that younger campers could look up to me as an influence regardless of my illness was so powerful, and gave me the energy and motivation to dance around the dining hall or yell our unit’s cheers just a little louder.