Tyler Hill Campers Reflecting on Starfish All Year Long…
Nothing makes us happier than to know that the impact we make at Tyler Hill and through our STARFISH program reaches beyond our front gates each and every summer. We are beyond proud to share with you an essay that one of our Tyler Hill campers wrote for her school. We hope that throughout the school year you also see that your own children embody the lessons of STARFISH.
When I was eight, I started looking at sleepaway camps. I looked through many videos, but as soon as I finished watching the video of Tyler Hill Camp, I knew that it would be a great fit for me. I thought that camp would just be a fun getaway for the summer, but what I didn’t realize was that Tyler Hill would teach me so many valuable life lessons. I know many kids in New York City go to sleepaway camp, but what I think is so special about my experiences is that it has taught me to be a better person. For me, camp isn’t just about sports and arts and crafts, but about being in an environment that makes me strive to be somebody that follows the values of STARFISH. No, I’m not just talking about the starfish in the Finding Nemo tank. My camp always tries to instill the values of Sportsmanship, Tolerance, Appreciation, Respect, Friendship, Integrity, Sensitivity, and Helpfulness, or STARFISH. These values have become an important aspect of the person I am today and who I hope to be in high school.
The value of appreciation is especially important to me. I was recognized by my counselors for being a great example of an appreciative camper. Each week, a different value of STARFISH would be discussed. On Fridays, the counselors would select a camper who best demonstrated that value. Winning this award meant a lot to me because I felt fortunate to have such meaningful experiences that were helping me learn to be mature, responsible, and to collaborate with my peers.
In high school, I would strive to incorporate the STARFISH values into my learning experiences, just as I did at camp. At camp, I learned about having respect and tolerance for others after having to share living space with many campers. At school, it is important to respect the opinions of my teachers and classmates. My friend in camp had a difficult experience being away from home, so camp taught me to be sensitive to the struggles and needs of others, like how I would be sensitive to the feelings of my peers, and try to be the best classmate I could be. Integrity was also very important because while at camp, parents aren’t around to tell me what is right and wrong. I have to make the right decisions on my own, like how I will have to take charge of my responsibilities with my education, more than middle school. I feel lucky that my camp helped me mature so much as a young adult and taught me lessons that I never thought I would learn just by going to summer camp. I hope to use some of these lessons in my daily life, especially when it comes to my high school education.