I have spent the past eight summers at North Star, an overnight camp for boys. At camp, activities are structured to foster intrinsic motivation and reward campers for personal achievement. For example, North Star does not have archery competitions. Instead, the camp challenges campers to reach various point levels. Because campers don’t feel pressure to outperform each other, they are able to focus on their own development and experience the pure joy of mastering a new skill.
Two years ago, I became a counselor at North Star where I work to foster and preserve this sacred tenant. As a counselor, my responsibility is to redirect a camper’s energy to self-competition. I have learned that by focusing children on themselves, they gain individuality. Camp is so special because all campers are accepted. The trees surrounding the campgrounds truly form an impenetrable barrier to the outside world. As a result, each camper has his own barrier of trees protecting him from outside pressures. Camp creates its own community, and everyone tries to take home a piece of it with them at the end of the summer.
Camp is an integral part of my life; it has given me the confidence to explore various subjects in school. While tracking my exploration and self-progress, I realized that I excel and enjoy math and science. In high school, physics and calculus became interesting to me, and these subjects are a strong foundation for a career as an engineer. I have experimented with computer programs and want to learn more and create my own programs. I love videogames and want to learn how to create their graphical systems. Due to my fascination with technology, my interests gravitate towards computer engineering. Because of camp, I now have deep roots that support the branches of my personal ambitions.
What school could say no to this?!