By "Ranger" Monica Karriem (aka Monimaker)
Camp Jewell is where I feel I have grown the most as a person. Over the past six summers I have grown to become the individual I am today. I started coming to camp after my school came here for Nature’s Classroom (it was nicknamed Colebrook at Camp). My first summer was 2009 and I stayed for two weeks as a Nit Nois. My second year I went on a Nit Nois trail ride at Hide-a-Way on a horse named Donut. After a year break, I went to Ranch where I met more people from far and wide.
Ranch became a little family for me and I had some of my best experiences there. I was a Top Hand for two years and I went through the Maverick program as well. This year I’m a Ranger at main camp and I’m just as happy here because I still get to spend one or two hours a day with the main camp horses.
Camp Jewell has made me grow as a person by creating a place where friendships can be made with no obstacles, like electronics. Some of the best friendship I have made is with the Rangers/Ranahans. We all just seemed to click so quickly. Because I was a maverick last year I didn’t know many of the Rangers this year, but now I feel they are some of the best friends I’ve ever made.
I can describe Camp Jewell in three ways:
1.) HAVEN: It’s a place where you can just be yourself and be free.
2.) FRIENDSHIPS: My best friendships are the ones I’ve made at camp.
3.) MEMORIES: Memories are made every day and it’s during the times you wouldn’t expect to make them. Memories happen when we’re singing while mucking (singing makes it mofre fun), or when we’re doing the dishes and we sing and dance while stacking the plates. A great memory I have was stargazing with some of the Rangers and seeing five shooting stars.
Every day can be made into something special. Having a positive mental attitude is great at camp because it is pretty contagious. When I’m at camp I am my best self and I love it so much.
As I sit at the top of Sunrise Mountain and look around at the beauty of Camp Jewell I hear the voices of children laughing and playing. I think of the opportunities I’ve had because I’ve come to this amazing place.
I can be myself because we are all being our beautiful, courageous selves.
P.S. I’m back where it all started in the Nit Nois Nation!