This post is a segue from posting about stuff for my PR Publications class to posting about whatever the heck I want! This summer I will mostly be posting about my adventures as a counselor at Prude Ranch Summer Camp. Then after the summer is over I’ll write about my senior year and my transition into the professional world.
Prude Ranch Summer Camp is located in Fort Davis, Texas. It started out as a camp for boy scouts in 1951 by J.R. and Betty Prude. Before that it was a working cattle ranch and kept this dual purpose until the early 2000s. Now it just serves a historic land mark and summer camp for boys and girls ages 7-16. I was lucky enough to be a counselor last year after my two younger sisters had been campers there two years prior. I didn’t know it at the time I took the job, but working at Prude Ranch would be a life changing experience for me.
I’ll never forget my first day pulling up to the big wooden gates that you drive through to enter the ranch. I was excited and terrified all at once. I had always loved kids but I had never done anything like this before. I did not know a single person that I was about to work with nor had I ever attended this camp as an actual camper. I was in way over my head at first, but with the help of some more experienced counselors I got the hang of things real quick. I was accepted into the Prude Ranch family from the moment our summer together began and it was here that I made life changing friendships.
There’s something to be said about friendships that you make at summer camp. If you’ve ever been to any kind of summer camp then you know what I’m talking about. There’s something innately special about bonding with people in the outdoors and facing problems together. Whether it be facing fears or dealing with homesickness, the friendships you make at camp as a kid are binding. This is very true with a majority of counselors at Prude Ranch who have been friends since they were 7 and are now counselors together. Some counselors have gone to Prude Ranch every summer for 13 years. Thats more than half of our lives at this point and time.
Although I was a Prude Ranch rookie it did not take long for me to feel like an old veteran. From the minute I met this Prude Ranch family I was immediately accepted, loved, and encouraged. I’ve never met a more loving group of people in my life and that love spills out onto the amazing kids we get to spend our summer with. Our goal is to give each kid a special camp experience and send them home more independent and confident than when they came us. It was my goal to love on these awesome kids all summer. I was convinced that I would be changing lives, but what I didn’t realize is that they would also change mine. For a majority of the summer I was a counselor to the girls who were 13 and up. As a role model to my girls I realized a lot about myself. One is that I can handle 11 14 year-old girls all by myself, which trust me is not an easy task! But second is I learned a lot about the person I wanted to be. I wanted to be the confident and capable woman that my girls thought I was. They looked to me (and still do) for guidance in their lives. Whether it be which boy to go to the Thursday night dance with or talking about family issues. I am the nonjudgemental ear that these girls need at this age, because being a teenager is rough. It was this amazing growing and bonding experience that I had with these kids that made me decide I would come back another year.
So instead of taking a summer internship like most college students my age. I will be headed to Fort Davis to see my kiddos! I cannot wait to see my girls and Prude Ranch family. I also can’t wait to share this journey with you, whoever you are. So be on the look out starting this June for my Prude Ranch adventures! ADIOS Y VAYA CON DIOS!
Originally posted at Mary Morton- PR Publications Course