Evan Bolotsky’s Summer Service

This summer I was a counselor in training at a camp called Camp Dark Waters in Medford, New Jersey. Camp Dark Waters is a quaker summer camp for less privileged kids on a creak with dark waters, hence the name. One of my most fond memories from this summer was helping a seven year old boy named AJ get his Bowman. Bowmen are campers who pass a series of canoeing challenges. AJ was shy and homesick almost all of the time, so I was surprised when he approached me and asked for my help on getting his Bowman. I agreed and in less than a week there was only one out of twenty challenges left. The last challenge was called unswamping, it requires two campers to lift a fifty pound canoe filled with water above their heads and flip it to drain it. AJ failed the first three times, unable to pick the canoe up over his head. On the fourth time he mustered all of his strength and was able to pick the canoe up. It took the rest of his strength to hold it above his head for the thirty seconds needed to empty the canoe of all of its water. After thirty seconds we put the canoe down and he started crying. For the rest of camp he was more social and wasn’t at all homesick. On the last day when he was being pick up before he introduced me to his parents saying that I changed his whole camp experience. Those words made me reflect on the maybe twenty minutes I had spent with him canoeing over the summer. The little work I had put in made the difference for his whole summer, and that amazed and motivated me to keep working on the little things that really counted.

One thought on “Evan Bolotsky’s Summer Service

  1. Hi Evan,
    Thank you for sharing your summer service reflection. I was happy to hear that you were able to support AJ in his efforts to becoming a Bowman. Will you volunteer at Camp Dark Waters again this summer?

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