The fourth installment of the camp counselor’s hero’s journey is here, courtesy of Christopher “Kit” Bennett.
Name: Kit Bennett
Origin: London, England
Mundane World: It wasn’t that my life was mundane, I was happy. But leaving high school and working out what I might possibly want to pursue after college was preying on my mind. I had a year off to make some money, maybe go traveling, and generally work out what I wanted to do. I started my journey with an interview at the military, so they would put me through school. I figured an active job would keep me fit and would provide me with many new and different experiences. My crappy knee put an end to any ideas of the military…My next aim was to get a job to make some money so I wasn’t struggling the whole time through school. I heard nannying was a good source of income and advertised at a local school, this turned into a teacher’s assistant position at the school.
Call To Adventure: Whilst teaching 6 year olds Reading, English and Math, I found I had awakened a dormant passion for working with children and that they truly brightened my day, even if they did struggle with 1 +1 on the odd occasion (I am not kidding!) I loved the challenges that faced me each day and that each day was completely different. I had the greatest admiration for the teachers that were there, more importantly their desire to teach and help shape great individuals from such a young age. My experiences at that school are irreplaceable and are the reason for my current pursuit of being a high school teacher. This was further cemented by experiences I was soon to have at Camp in the summer of 2003.
Crossing The Threshold: I was the equivalent of a 7th round draft pick (Matt was getting desperate and was forced to take the posh private school educated ‘chap’ from London!). Obviously I was not aware of this at the time, but Matt’s faith in me before and after my arrival, had a profound effect on what I was able to achieve that summer and the subsequent one. I think being accepted as part of a family of people who all had a common goal, really enabled me to cross the threshold.
Path of Trials: Camp in itself was the single most positive experience I have ever undertaken, it confirmed my love of teaching, I fell in love with the most fantastic girl in the world and made lifelong friendships, (clichéd I know, but all true.) This is not to say there were not difficulties: aqua jumps breaking, canoe’s running amok and kids being drawn on. A hero’s journey is not a perfect one and I believe wholeheartedly that learning from your mistakes is the only real way to improve your ability in whatever you choose to pursue. For instance I now know not to put 10 band camp kids on an aqua jump and play ‘lets get the counselor off the aqua jump’! Clearly I had similar trials to other counselors; kids acting up, disgruntled parents etc… But my true trials were to be overcome after camp; continuing a relationship over a long distance and working towards my dream of becoming a teacher in the US, both of which I have been told on multiple occasions that I would never get close to.
Master of Two Worlds: This brings me full circle back to faith and support. It is now January 2007. I’m working back at camp for outdoor education and will be soon attending school to gain my Master’s and Teacher’s Certification. Things with Kat although difficult when I got here, have now worked themselves out. Initially I had to have faith in myself before others would follow suit and I am grateful everyday for all the support and help I have been given over the past 3 years. A hero’s journey is rarely, if at all, completed alone and I feel acceptance of help as a sign of strength rather than weakness is essential to all our journeys.