By McKenna Hayden (BDC ’09-’15, IB ’16-’17) and Rebecca Lapham (BDC ’09-’15, IB ’16-’17)

Indian Brook teaches us so many things that we use in our day-to-day life. From wilderness skills like whittling to values; from cooking to friendship, we take these lessons home with us and try to implement them into our everyday life. When we are at camp, we live in a tight-knit community, and we all help each other out and work together. For example, during trips, we all have a job, such as assembling our tent, making food, or collecting water or firewood. At school during group projects, or during sports, we are prepared to work together as a team and each contributes with our own jobs.

One thing that we love about camp is the fact that we can be ourselves. Many of us find it hard to be our true selves in our everyday life, but camp helps us be more true to who we are. At IB, we strive to create a no judgment zone. The no body talk rule, for example, is a way of complimenting others on their qualities as a person, rather than what they wear or look like.

Many of our peers say things that are disrespectful to other people, often because they just don’t understand what they’re saying. For example, at school one of our peers might say that something is “gay.” At camp, we learn to stand up for ourselves and others, we have learned to stand up and say “that’s not okay.” Sometimes it may be hard to stand up to your friends, but it is the right thing to do.

We have friends that have people in their lives who don’t accept who they are, and camp has taught us how to be supportive friends to them. Many people have been taught the golden rule, which is “treat others the way you want to be treated.” However, at Indian Brook, we learned about the platinum rule: “treat others the way they want to be treated.” Camp teaches us the importance of friendship, and how to be a good friend. We are in a cabin with the same group of girls for three weeks, and this experience in and of itself teaches us core things about friendship, and how to resolve problems, which is most definitely important to us in life. We are taught that women can be strong and are reminded not to keep quiet. And, last of all, at camp we have fun and make memories.

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