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Gabi Smith: I love being able to recreate the magic of camp that I loved as a kid for all the campers

Picture+above+is+Smith+%28right+in+purple%29+in+a+gimp+making+contest+between+the+arts+and+crafts+counselors.+%E2%80%9CEveryone+at+camp+is+always+going+all+out+and+nobody+is+scared+to+be+weird+and+outgoing+and+try+new+things.+All+the+counselors+are+there+to+entertain+the+kids+and+have+fun%2C%E2%80%9D+Smith+said.
Picture above is Smith (right in purple) in a gimp making contest between the arts and crafts counselors. “Everyone at camp is always going all out and nobody is scared to be weird and outgoing and try new things. All the counselors are there to entertain the kids and have fun,” Smith said.

Picture above is Smith (right in purple) in a gimp making contest between the arts and crafts counselors. “Everyone at camp is always going all out and nobody is scared to be weird and outgoing and try new things. All the counselors are there to entertain the kids and have fun,” Smith said.

Picture above is Smith (right in purple) in a gimp making contest between the arts and crafts counselors. “Everyone at camp is always going all out and nobody is scared to be weird and outgoing and try new things. All the counselors are there to entertain the kids and have fun,” Smith said.

Isabel Gitten and Lucy Hughes

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When school ends in June, many students go on vacation, spend time at the beach or find a summer job. However, in the hot months of July and August, Junior Gabi Smith spends her time outside in the fresh air teaching kids how to make friendship bracelets, mix paint and make clay pots

Smith could not imagine a summer without Camp Sewataro, a day camp in Sudbury. Smith began attending camp when she was only five years old. She has spent a total of 11 summers at Sewataro: eight as a camper, two as a Counselor-in-Training, and one as a staff member working in Arts in Crafts and as a bus monitor. Smith will be returning this year for her 12th summer as a counselor. Smith has made many friends in her camp “tribe” that she would do activities with throughout the day.

“We spent all day together; we played games in between actives, we did ropes courses, swimming, fishing, canoeing, and everything together every period,” Smith said. “I was with my camp friends every day and all day. I became very close with them and at the end of the summer we would be sad to leave each other. During the school year I have still kept in touch with them.”

Pictured above is Smith (left) as a camper at Sewataro. “I was with my camp friends every day and all day. I became very close with them and at the end of the summer we would be sad to leave each other,” Smith said.

Sewataro gives a spirit award each week to the most spirited tribe from age group. Smith says that this award was a huge deal to her and her friends as a camper and it helped her tribe become closer.

 

“We were always cheering eachother on [in the tribe] during activities and supporting each other while having a ton of fun,” Smith said.

 

As a staff member, Smith loves watching campers get excited for the spirit award.

 

“If a camper on my bus gets the spirit award, they are insanely excited and they have a huge smile on their face for the whole ride home. It’s really cool because I remember my tribe and I getting it and being so excited about it when I was a camper. It’s awesome seeing [this excitement] go full circle. Now I get the chance to contribute to this excitement that counselors built up for me as a camper,” Smith said.

 

Smith credits her experience for teaching her a lot about independence and responsibility. In the Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program, Smith shadowed a counselor in a specific program area where she learned how to lead activities.

 

“I would shadow the counselor for the first couple of days and by the end of the week I would be able to lead my own activities,” Smith said.

 

Smith learned how to teach swim lessons, watch over campers, and entertain them no matter what the situation.

 

“I learned how not to talk down to kids and how to lead activities and get campers’ attention. I now know how to both be in authority and be the campers’ friend. I also have to be really flexible and have learned how to adjust to the camp schedule. [As a CIT,] the younger kids looked up to me so if something bad happened, I would have to roll with it. If it was a rainy day and the schedule changed, I would take whatever came to me and be happy about it and make it a positive thing and have fun,” Smith said.

 

Before becoming a CIT and a counselor, Smith did not feel very comfortable being responsible for kids. However, through her time at Sewataro, Smith has found a new sense of confidence.

 

“Now I am more confident when I babysit in my ability to deal with kids. I feel more responsible. [Camp] gave me confidence that I can be left with a bus of 20 kids and I can handle them. It has brought out my individuality and has made me a more independent leader,” Smith said.

Pictured above is Smith (right) designing a costume for a “special event Friday” activity at Sewataro. “I really liked arts and crafts as a camper and being able to teach it as a counselor is a lot of fun,” Smith said.

Smith loves being a counselor at Sewataro and believes it is a unique job that exposes you to many valuable experiences.

 

“I think this is one of the best jobs for anyone, especially high school kids. Unlike an office job or an internship, you are working with a ton of other people your age from so many different places and you get the chance to meet so many people and make friends. You also spend all summer outside while having a blast, which is the best way to spend the summer after being in school all year,” Smith said.

 

Smith loves the atmosphere and high energy at Sewataro. She believes all the staff members have the same goal to make the summer fun for the campers.

 

“Everyone at camp always going all out and nobody is scared to be weird and outgoing and try new things. All the counselors are there to entertain the kids and have fun. They are not scared of who’s judging them because it’s just all for fun it’s not supposed to be serious. All the kids are being completely wacky and goofy and loud because they can’t do that at home or at school,” Smith said.

Picture above is Smith (right in purple) in a gimp making contest between the arts and crafts counselors. “Everyone at camp is always going all out and nobody is scared to be weird and outgoing and try new things. All the counselors are there to entertain the kids and have fun,” Smith said.

Overall, Smith has valued her time at Camp Sewataro.

 

“Being a camp counselor has been an amazing experience and I wouldn’t do anything differently. It is the best job. I love kids because they’re so fun. The job is challenging at times, but it is also insanely fun. I loved being a camper and being a counselor at the camp I spent all my summers at when I was younger is amazing. I love being able to recreate the magic of camp that I loved as a kid for all the campers,” Smith said.

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Gabi Smith: I love being able to recreate the magic of camp that I loved as a kid for all the campers