My THC Story – Alexa Moss
Around this time, nearly 11 years ago, I was beginning to prepare for the newest adventure in my life. After visiting only a few camps, my parents and I easily chose Tyler Hill. Immediately, we were all drawn to the magic, love, and unique atmosphere that can be felt even before pulling into the gates. Soon enough, my first trunks were packed and I was on the bus to camp for my first summer. I can’t say that besides the endless excitement, there was not a part of me that worried about what was to come. Little did I know how far Tyler Hill would exceed my expectations.
I started in Bunk 2, with several other girls that I would end up living with every summer following and that would become like sisters to me. From the first day, camp was my happy place. I would count down every day of the winter until I could be back on opening night, standing on the Social Hall benches, singing and dancing with my favorite people in the world. The girls that began in Bunk 2 moved up together every year. We became closer and closer with each other and with the other girls in our division, learning about each other and ourselves in the process. After going through and experiencing everything together, these girls have helped me grow into who I am and have stayed by my side even to this day.
The activities and traditions that are a part of Tyler Hill became second nature to me. I could never get camp songs out of my head, I didn’t sleep at night without wearing an old Color War t-shirt, and I couldn’t get through a day without getting excited for the Lazarus bowl, the THC dance competition, or Girl’s Sing. As I got older, the thought of a summer without Tyler Hill became more and more distant. Finally, it was time for my CIT summer. I had looked up to the CITS all my life and could not wait to lead the camp in everything I had grown to admire about this place. It was a blessing to be able to live in one room with my whole division and experience what every summer lead up to. We worked as hard as we could to embody the spirit of camp and be the best role models for the younger divisions. As my chapter of being a camper ended, there was no hesitation as to whether or not I should continue as a counselor. I was lucky enough to have had such amazing mentors as counselors in all of my summers and could not wait to take what I had learned from them and apply it to myself as a counselor. Rebecca “Frankie” Frank, happened to be one of my counselors for four summers long and helped me grow into the person I am. With the support and guidance of such special people, like Frankie, I was ready for the transition from camper to counselor.
In 2014, I began as a Junior Counselor for the Sophomore division. It was not the same as being a camper and I missed living with my own camp friends in a bunk. As soon as the campers arrived on opening day, I learned how much of an impact I had on the younger girls and loved being able to be their role model. As their counselor, I was not only a mentor, but a coach, support system, older sister, and friend.
This past summer, I was given an older division of girls – something I saw as both a challenge and a gift. I quickly fell in love with the twenty-eight girls. Having such an impact on 13-14 year-olds taught me more than I could believe and was extremely rewarding. I was able to watch young girls grow throughout the two months while developing stronger relationships with each other and enjoying every aspect of their happy place, just like I did.
I talk to my campers every day over the year to check on them. I have the same big sister instincts that Frankie has for my age group and I love being able to be there for my campers when they need someone to just call or talk to. Even at college, my favorite thing is the daily texts to and from my girls to hear about school, their friends, their lives in general, and how much they can’t wait to get back to camp.
Whenever I talk about camp to other people, I always try and show how it has been a huge part of how I was raised. I have gone through and grown up experiencing every hard and easy thing that is part of life and I could not have gotten through them without the people from Tyler Hill and the way that camp shaped me into who I am. Tyler Hill Camp is the most special home that I will always have a place in my heart for. I encourage every camper, parent, staff member, and anyone in connection with Tyler Hill to cherish all it has to offer, make it last every moment, and never stop going back. Only 40 more days… CAN’T WAIT!