I spent more than a cumulative year of my life at CWW, spanning from a junior camper to a CIT. To me, camp isn’t a place I went to have fun for a couple months each summer—it was an entire world. At the end of every school year, I’d leave my normal world and head into the mountains of New Hampshire to enter the magical world of CWW—somewhere with its own culture, its own values, its own songs, its own sounds, smells, and sights. I love this world for two reasons:
First, it was unbelievably fun being at camp. The days were packed with activities—soccer, swimming, painting, card games, boating, barbecues, movies, basketball, theater, hiking, carpentry. You spent every waking second immersed in the present moment. And you did it all in a gorgeous setting with a group of your best friends.
Second, camp is a world that never leaves you. Camp really does have its culture and its own set of values. There’s no bullying at camp because it’s not part of the culture—a bully wouldn’t seem cool at camp. Camp’s an incredibly inclusive place, because it’s an inherent part of the culture. People who come to camp overly whiny or needy quickly shed those traits, because camp is all about self-reliance. I did a lot of my growing up at camp—and these values stick with you for life. But the world of camp stays with you in a more literal sense as well—because it’s almost impossible to spend significant time at CWW without making deeply close, lifelong friends—the kind of friends that almost feel like family. I’m 36, and at least half of my best friends in the world today are people I met at camp.
I feel incredibly grateful to the Dorfmans and the rest of the CWW staff, because while most camps are just a fun place to spend your summer, the people who run CWW know what it means to build a world, and that world makes up a big part of who I am today.