Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My Southwoods Story: Johnny Drucker

My experiences at Southwoods, both as a camper and a counselor, are in many ways more than memories. They are more than hot summers days in the Adirondacks and they are more than cool summer nights out by the campfire. They are proof. Proof that I am always a work in progress. As a camper I learned how to be a part of something bigger than myself, while at the same time learning how to shine as an individual. I was part of a cabin, an age group, a tribal team, a camp, and through the years I began to understand what it meant to contribute to a team. There were always more goals to accomplish and there were always more people to learn with. While I was becoming more and more comfortable with being part of a community, I was also able to blossom into a unique person. At Southwoods I recognized my creativity. I recognized my ability to empathize. I recognized the need to keep blossoming. As a counselor I not only learned how to be a part of a group, but how to lead one. It was my turn to foster an environment that nurtured teamwork and interdependence. As an experienced member of the Southwoods community I was also able to empower young people to shine in their own way. Few things bring me more joy than seeing someone believe in his or herself. As always, I was learning, growing and changing. Over the years the people and the programs at Southwoods have taught me how to reach beyond my own expectations for myself- more times than I can count. Here, I learned how to locate my comfort zone and how extend it. This idea means more than simply trying new things, meeting new people, and visiting new places. It means being able to redefine yourself as your adventure continues. At the end of the day I can say that I share love and friendship with people across the globe and I carry what they’ve given me wherever I go. Their words, their jokes, their demeanor, their perspective. But even more so than all of these things, they have given me proof. Proof that I can make it. Proof that I am always making it. - Written by Jonny Drucker, Former Southwoods Camper & Counselor

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