Remember the amazing friends you made at camp? Remember how you felt like you had finally found your other half, your long lost sister or brother, someone who liked all the same things as you? Remember how great that felt to connect to a community and find a place to belong? We do!
Being in community is what Appel Farm is all about. We know it can be difficult to connect with people at school or at home, that making new friends can be scary, and that feeling the love around us is not always easy. But things are different here at Appel Farm. Helping campers meet new people and make friends is one of our goals each summer, and we know from 55 years of experience that camp friendships can last a lifetime!
“Appel Farm is my dream place. It is a place of LOVE, KINDNESS, and RESPECT. This is a place where everyone is accepted.”
— Siona, camper
At Appel Farm we know there is a big difference between “fitting in” and “belonging.” Fitting in implies we need to change something about ourselves to fit with what we see in the environment around us. Belonging is about being accepted just as you are, and Appel Farm is a place for belonging. In a thriving community each person is encouraged to express their individuality; to play their unique part in making the group better.
This is one of the reasons making friends at Appel Farm can sometimes feel easier than making friends outside of camp. Here, you don’t have to “fit in” to make friends, because everyone is accepted just as they are! Our camp friends see us at our worst-like when we have morning breath or feel homesick, and at our best -performing in a Friday Night Concert or helping in the dining hall. Friendships forged at camp are unique because not only do they represent what is good in others, but also what is good in ourselves. They remind us that we can be ourselves, no matter how different we feel, and still be LOVED!
As the world around us focuses on romantic love this Valentine’s Day, let’s not forget the love we share between friends.
So, be a true pal this February 14th and celebrate “Pal”entine’s Day by sending some love and positivity to anyone you consider a friend, but especially your camp ones!
In the spirit of “Pal”entine’s Day, we would love for you to share a special memory about your camp friends in the comments below or on Facebook with the hashtag
Also included for your sharing pleasure are a few fun “Pal”entine’s Day cards below! MUCH APPEL FARM LOVE 🙂