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 Interesting infomation for alumni, parents and campers. Discover Winnataska's 96 year history, and learn how to volunteer. Click here.


CAMP IS....Worth more than a thousand pictures!

This blog post was written by staff member Cole Milberger, who worked the ropes course last summer. He's from Hunstville and attends school in Auburn. Thanks, Cole, for sharing what CAMP IS to you!

“A picture is worth more than a thousand words,” is a very common saying. Why though? People say that because they believe the content of the photo, memories the photo holds, or the meaning behind the photo, is more descriptive then anyone could ever put into text. Camp is my place that is worth more than 1 THOUSAND pictures. That is why I want to share with you my attempt of putting my camp experiences into text, and tell you why camp is, well… WORTH MORE THAN A THOUSAND PICTURES.

Growing up, I was that kid that had my fingers in every different type of school activity and social group. I never made that group of friends that I would always follow and long to see. Camp was always there, and with camp came my “camp friends,” (the words my friends at college now hate to hear.) Since going to camp at age nine I have gained hundreds of friends:  Friends meaning people I will hug when I see them, not just gentle acquaintances with whom I would shake hands.

These people are my true-life friends I will see at my wedding, and will stand with me forever. This type of friendship can be cultivated at camp because camp is the place where you can be you. At first glance, I am an extremely collected and well thought-out person, but in reality, my camp friends know me as the weird, Velveeta (cheesy), outdoorsy fool that likes to take risks. Are you comfortable being yourself? If not, you should go to camp and see how freeing it feels to be in that atmosphere.     

To be truly accepted for who you are is a humbling experience, I can tell you that from first-hand. My camp friends are not just limited to the guys I worked on staff with this summer, or someone who was a camper with me. My camp friends are everyone who went or goes to camp, from the smallest Chico all the way to the oldest alum. Camp is the place where you will make the longest lasting and true friends you will ever have. These are the friends that will help you change a tire in the middle of a storm, or will beat you over back of the head and tell you that you are in the wrong.

Besides the sappy stories of camp friends, there is more to camp I have yet to explain. Winnatasksa is hands down the most beautiful place on this planet. From Kelly Creek (Yes, Kelly with no “S”) to the scorching hot High Ropes Course, all the way to Grace Lake, camp is gorgeous. I like to describe camp to my friends as “an extremely outdoors non-denominational Christian camp!” Then they always ask, “What do you mean by extremely?” What I mean is that camp is extremely different from normal life at home.  Think about it, who sleeps in a room with fifteen other friends with screened 5-foot windows? Or where you play in the mud, and then walk around covered in mud as a badge of honor? Or where you don’t mind  a 9-inch fan as a replacement to air conditioning? Personally one of my favorite times at camp is when it rains, and I get to hear the drops of rain hit the tin roof as I lay in my bed. At camp you learn to love nature, how to treat it, and survive in it without modern day conveniences, something everyone should experience. The beauty in the nature of camp is more than just what the eyes see, its what you experience as well.

Camp is more than just 1000 pictures, which equates to well over one million words. If I physically could, I would write over that amount several times, but I have college to get back to. Overall, camp is the most amazing place I’ve encountered on this planet. You will find me there every second I can, as a returning Blackfoot or as an alum helping staff move luggage to huts in the heat or rain. (Usually rain… just saying.) Go to Camp Winnataska, and you will understand why I love it so much, and what I mean when I say it’s worth more than a thousand pictures.


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