Meet Emma, a Pinecliffe alumna, who is currently interning at MCE. Her introduction blog below talks about her expierence at Pinecliffe and what she gained from camp.
My Maine Camp Experience has been a huge part of my life since I was eight years old, and I knew that this topic would be easy for me to write about.
When I sat down to write this introduction, I struggled with how to capture everything that my camp experience meant to me in one blog post. But I quickly realized the key point I wanted to make in this post—camp is so much more than just a few fun weeks every summer.
I started camp at a young age, and was, of course, incredibly nervous to leave the comfort of home for the summer. Luckily, my older sister was attending the same seven-week camp, so I knew I would have her around to help with the transition. When I arrived at camp, I won’t lie, I was homesick. But by the end of the first week, with the help of my “camp sister,” counselors, new friends in my bunk, and of course, my older sister, I was fully in the swing of things and having so much fun. By the end of seven weeks, I cried harder about leaving camp, than I had at the bus stop in June when I left home for camp!
What I didn’t realize, however, was that camp did not stop when I got off the bus in August. My sister and I spent hours telling camp stories around the dinner table all through the school year— it was our own secret camp language that bonded us more than anything had before. Five summers later, when it was time for my little sister to join us in Maine, she became a part of our special world and fell in love with camp just as we had. To this day, so many years later, my sisters and I can go on and on talking about camp memories, our camp friends, and everything in between— much to the dismay of my parents who listen in confusion! I will forever be grateful to camp for giving me this chance to grow closer to my sisters in a new, special environment.
My relationship with my sisters is just one example of the many, many ways that my camp experience continues to affect me even after I’ve left Maine. As the years since my last summer add up, I’m amazed at how much camp has remained a part of my life. My summers in Maine gave me lifelong friends whom I still talk to on a day to day basis, a “camp sister” six years older than me who I still see many times a year, an extensive alumni network of amazing women across the country, and so many memories that I will cherish forever. Camp is SO much more than just the weeks you spend in Maine, and what I learned about independence, growth, and friendship throughout my seven summers will always stick with me.
I am so excited to share my Maine Camp Experience with you all, and hopefully, encourage some of you to share in this experience with me!
Maja Toncic is the Assistant Director at Camp Pinecliffe, working closely with Patty, Marcy, and Casey. She began her Pinecliffe summers as a third generation camper in 1990, and in 2000 returned as a counselor. She has worked with our Cliffes, as a Smallcraft instructor, as the Assistant Director of Swim, a Senior Group Leader, Program Director, and now an Assistant Director.