This summer, I spent a good amount of time (2 months) taking on the role of a camp counselor.
” Life is better in the middle of nowhere!” was one of the camp quotes, as the location was surrounded by miles of rolling hills and farms in Pennsylvania. Constantly surrounded by nature, I captured some images of land I got to know well.
As camp counselors, we got the privilege of having a day off each week. These days included opportunities to travel around the area and take a break from the campers… which was well needed.
One of my days off, I spent it in beautiful Ithaca (home to Cornell University). This majestic area was filled with waterfalls.
NYC was located only 2 hours away. Therefore, many of my days were spent struggling with Metro-cards, indulging on real New York pizza, and breaking my neck to see the top of the skyscrapers.
Walking through Time Square was overwhelming. I was constantly hearing a new language and spotting colorful outfits….including one Naked Cowboy! Always a pleasure to see…
One of the most serene places in NYC is the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero. The waterfall dipped into an endless hole in the middle, which was both spooky and calming. The names of all the victims are visibly carved, and white flowers are placed for birthdays.
A stroll through Central Park was enjoyable; especially playing in the water park section! We were the tallest humans there compared to the minion kid.
I crashed at a friends house located right outside of NYC one night, and I got an excuse to see and use Grand Central Station. One memory that stuck with me was when I was ordering a bagel, I asked for a Chocolate Chip Bagel. The cashier looked at me with the most disgusted and astonished look, replying that he has never heard of such flavor. I was so surprised because in the south and mid-west, sweet flavored bagels (blueberry, strawberry, chocolate chip, etc.) are normal. This memory still bothers me for some reason.
Needless to say, my camp experience was a valuable one. To make an impact on the campers lives, in an positive way, was my goal. I believe I reached that goal by providing them with an memorable summer!
I wanted to end with this quote I found on the NYC streets for inspiration!:)
This is a reminder for myself.
1. Josh, 24
When it comes to lodging, Location > Price. Staying on the outskirts of town will never be as good an idea as it seems — you’ll pay a lot more in transportation and wasted time. Not to mention, there are countless other unforeseen variables that could end up costing you significantly more than the extra 15 Euro it would’ve cost to stay in the heart of the city.
2. Sandy, 28
Always give directions to a taxi driver as if you’re bored and have done this 5,000 times. You run the risk of having them drive you around in circles if they can tell that you’re a tourist and don’t know any better.
3. Casey, 31
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I would do this in a heartbeat! Out of a backpack why don’t you!