Celebrating Students: Lili Kadets ’17

Every summer, as I have for the past ten years, I leave home and drive up to the shores of Lake Potanipo. I arrive at my home away from home—Camp Tevya in Brookline, NH—or a place that has taught me what true dedication means. As many camp goers will attest, the summer is an indescribable seven weeks suspended in time, a stretch when two months can feel like a day and a day can feel like a month. For the past three summers as a counselor, I’ve split my time between bunk responsibilities and Lili Kadetsswim instructing, moving on from my carefree camper days to taking care of other people’s children. Being a counselor is the perfect oxymoron: an extremely serious fun job. 24/7 work is tiring, but from what I hear, working at camp will be the best job I ever have. So far, I can’t argue against that. Many people also tell me that being a counselor beats “real world work” such as internships and office jobs any day. Yet in spite of the isolated “bubble” that we call our summer home, camp is the real world. Camp is the place where I learned that age isn’t a barrier for friendship. It’s the place where I discovered that kids truly care what I say, think, or do; it’s where I feel most confident as a leader. Camp is a place that teaches me how to be compassionate, patient, and overly enthusiastic. Camp is a community like Wesleyan—small, open, supportive and creative—but at a level that lets me truly take control. I may not have tested samples in a lab or helped out with a campaign this summer, but I learned how to translate and present my own experiences to new campers, and understand what making deep connections means. There’s no place I’d rather be!