A Hero’s Journey: Erik Smith

Part Two of the camp counselor hero’s journeys. This will be part two of two unless I get some more 🙂

Name: Erik Smith

Origin: Fenton, Michigan

Mundane World: My mundane world I believe was the four years that I wasted in high school. Now I do not feel that high school was a waste of time I feel that I wasted my time there. I went through every day with very little intention to do anything out of the ordinary. I did enough to make it to the next day. It would be fair to say I floated.

Call To Adventure: My calling came in a very strange form. I had been dating the same girl for 2 years and she had told me that in the summer she would be going off to become a camp counselor, now this was not really in my favor as she would be gone for an entire summer. So in response to this I applied at a different camp to become a counselor as well. My call to adventure was unexpected as many are but I feel that it came at the right time in my life, it saved me from myself and as I would find out later put me in a spot where I had more impact on others’ lives than I could ever imagine.

Crossing The Threshold: While many counselors consider staff training the threshold, I had a different threshold to cross and that was within myself. I had a barrier built up, I did not want to let myself accept that I was changing as I started my journey. I wanted to stay in my own bubble, I wanted to change and grow at my own pace. This of course was not ideal. So as I started to see how much my life and my attitudes about youth and my peers changed I crossed my threshold and I was on my way to my path of trials.

Path of Trials: My own attitude and standards that I set for myself were my biggest trials. I wanted so much out of myself everyday that I drove myself too hard. I wanted everything to be perfect so my good days weren’t good enough and my bad days might as well had been my last. On the path I found my friends and my foes, I found friends in a supervisor and two of my peers in particular, I found a foe in myself, one that was never happy with the level I performed at.

Master of Two Worlds: I have moved on past my counselor role but everyday I learn what I used about others and about myself. I know how a little smile, a small comment, a moment of play can brighten a child’s day and even affect them for the rest of their lives. I learned that if I can not accept failure on my own part I will never be successful. I’ve learned that to find out who is truly a friend you have to trust them without knowing if they are to be trusted. In my world I have made my first journey, my first of many and as my journey at camp has ended I would not trade any of it for the world and I look forward to my next journey.

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