My name is Lydia and this will be my 5th summer at the Hill. Unlike many others who grew up at Tyler Hill, my love for the place came on accident. My expectation for one fun summer away at camp, turned into 4 of the best summers of my life. From not knowing anyone the first day of orientation, to leading a tight and bright Zumba class with the famous Nicole "Zumba" Lane on the 3rd day, I began to see how special the place could be.
One of my favorite aspects of camp is that it challenges each and every one of us in different ways, allowing us to grow each time we go through those gates. Over the past 4 summers I have grown personally as a dance teacher, as a leader, and most importantly as a friend. Camp has taught me to take my job seriously, and at the same time to never be serious. I have learned how to let things go. I have gained courage and confidence in all aspects of my life. I've become more comfortable being out of my comfort zone and embracing the weirdness of camp life, as well as daily life.
While a typical day at THC is filled with crazy outfits, random games made up by counselors, and 800 people standing on the benches singing "Don't Stop Believing," I've realized these things are just at the surface. In a typical day at THC I also see the realest of friendships develop, the highs and lows of campers, the achievements made, and most importantly bonds that continue to strengthen. Within my first summer I made friends that will last a life time, by my second summer I was lucky enough to find my soulmate and best friend, Adam Lane, and in my fourth summer I watched my 32 beautiful CIT girls watch their final sunrise as campers.
Of course, it has been so special seeing such a large group of girls grow from the 12 and 13 year olds they were in my first summer, to the craziest CITs, and now watching the 2017 staff Facebook page fill up with each of their names. I can't wait to admire them as they become counselors, and to watch younger campers look up to them as role models.
Flash forward to today, where I am ending an amazing 5 month trip through South America, where I got to see a part of the world with my favorite Division Leading family, Nicole, Ste, and Adam Lane; all three of you have had an incredible impact on my life. I would like to thank so many of Tyler Hill's staff who have helped to create this place, where counselors and campers walk away with such amazing friendships and memories. So thank you Andy, Wendy, Mike, Deanna and Lonnie, I feel so lucky to have this "job."