In the days leading up to July 7th, I experienced a tumult of emotion. My anticipation for the WYA ISC was very evident to both my family and friends. My apprehension for the camp must also have been noticeable. I would walk around my house asking my siblings if they thought that the camp might be fun. I was excited to learn more about what it means to be dignified. Yet, I was also worried that the camp might be too educational for my summer-dulled brain. I was excited to meet new people, I was worried that I might not get along with them. I was scared, I was eager. As Charles Dickens once said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
On July 7th, that fateful day, my friend, Theresa, and I traveled from New Jersey to Manhattan, and we walked into the WYA house with mixed feelings. Little did I know that that first moment of the WYA Summer Camp marked the beginning of one of the greatest experiences of my life, and one that I am privileged to say that I am experiencing now.
The first week of WYA camp involved getting to know other people who traveled from near and far to take part in the WYA ISC. Meeting such a diverse group of fellow campers was incredible in itself. I was able to learn more about people from Egypt, Denmark, Mexico, Utah, Maryland, Ohio, and Manhattan. I knew upon further contemplation that my fears about not getting along with people were unfounded, every single camper, and counselor involved with the camp is so friendly and open.
Getting to partake in various activates was especially fun. From playing soccer, to mafia, to ultimate Frisbee, and the WYA Olympics, and assassins, there never seems to be a dull moment. The memories from such games won’t be forgotten. Some memories include the “Melk” team chant about how one team’s “Melk” brings all the cows to the barn, or it be the cuts and scrapes I received from falling multiple times with another camper while trying so avidly to win the three-legged race, or it be seeing one camper fit a seemingly impossible number of marshmallows in his mouth while winning “the Chubby Bunny Game”, Such recollections of hilarity will not cease to bring a smile to my face.
The various talks all with the basis on the inherent, inalienable, and intrinsic dignity of the human person have been very informative, yet not overly so.
Even though its only been a week so far, the WYA ISC has been a great experience, one with memories I know I’ll treasure. I can only hope for what the next few days will bring, and I know without any doubt that it’ll be great, and I’ll be able to note upon the WYA ISC experience that it truly was “the best of times”.
By Xiomara Muñoz, a Summer Camp Participant and North American member.