Campers Form Strong Bonds of Friendship

By Kim Boaz-Wilson, RN, BSN, CDE…Mother to one, mother of many

Camp Endres Senior, held in early July, welcomed 69 teens to a fun and impactful week. Many friends were reunited and new ones were made. For many of us, each summer camp is like going home to those we love and those who love us. It’s truly our second home… and I am often seen as campers’ second mom. A title I hold dearly.

Many young adults and healthcare professionals give their time and expertise to campers who attend Camp Endres.

Melissa, Morgan and Natalie first began as young campers many years ago. At the time, they had no idea their friendship would grow to be so strong. Eventually, they all became camp counselors and together, have helped shape the lives of many. Here’s what Natalie has to say about it:

“I think it’s truly magical when you’ve met people that have seen you at your absolute worst and your absolute best and the love that they have for you never changes. I believe that this magical notion is such a rarity that once it is found, you have no choice but to believe in soul mates.

I really really think this connection is something even deeper than a romantic love for someone. The type of soul mates I have met at this camp surpass any type of expectation or want I have ever had and because of this, it is the most important thing in my life.

When I was a camper I think I had an idea that these people would be in my life for a long time. What I didn’t know is that these people would be my lifeline, my best friends, the absolute loves and light of my life.

When I became a counselor, I had the same idea that these campers I had, would be just as important and I hoped I would make a difference in their lives. I had no idea that the friendships I had with my co-counselors that I made as a camper, would inspire my campers to form the same kind of bond with their friends.

Over the years Morgan, Melissa and I have had a lot of campers. Hopefully we’ve taught them a lot of things about their disease and most importantly, I hope we taught them something about friendship and how it trumps everything. Morgan, Melissa & I have been friends basically our entire lives. I can’t think of humans I love, trust, or care about more and it’s like I feel beyond blessed that I get to do life with them. I don’t love this disease but I love that it brought me to them.”

Thank you to all of our volunteers who make Camp Endres such a success! I love seeing the friendships formed at this camp.