At Camp Fletcher, we love to hear stories about how summers spent with us are life changing and full of excitement, but we know the very best way to hear those stories is from our former campers themselves! Today we’re starting a new series, where we will share the stories of former campers who love Camp Fletcher as much as we do. We know that wherever our campers go and whatever they do, they will carry their summers at camp with them and cherish those memories for a lifetime.
Today we’re going to introduce you to Patrick. Patrick is 29 years old, and has been a part of Camp Fletcher for 22 years! Patrick has been a camper, junior counselor, counselor, senior counselor and the resident camp director at Camp Fletcher. During the year, he works as the Band Director at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School in Montgomery, Alabama. Patrick will be returning to Camp Fletcher this summer as our Day Camp Director!
When does your Camp Fletcher story begin?
My camp story began in 1992, when I was 7 years old. My parents brought me and my brother from a little league baseball game (still in our game attire) and we toured Camp Fletcher with Mrs. Cledith Fisher. She showed us the grounds and told us what camp was like, and I was hooked instantly. A few weeks later we were both in our first resident camp.
Can you tell me about one of your favorite camp memories?
There are so many memories that it is hard to simply pick one! I do remember my very first Grand Council Ceremony, and it was so magical. We all proceeded in song to Shades Creek where we were taught about the true meaning of “WoHeLo” and given our very own camp names. I can’t remember the exact name but I do remember my counselor named me “one who likes to play games.”
What lessons has Camp Fletcher taught you that you still carry with you today?
Camp Fletcher taught me to be me. Believe it or not, but I was shy when I was a kid, but something was different when I went to camp. I was able to be loud, be a leader, be creative, be imaginative, and be me! Camp taught me to be confident in who I am as an individual, and to use my gifts and talents to make the world a better place.
What role does camp play in your life today?
Camp has been a huge part of my life for so long that I think of camp everyday. My new camp name is “one whose home remains at camp.” Even if I am not physically at camp, my heart is always there.
Do you feel that your experiences at Camp Fletcher have shaped you? If so, how?
As I stated earlier, the camp experience is the reason I am a confident person today. I know that as a high school band director, I would not be able to work with my students the way that I do without my years of experience at Camp Fletcher. The lessons I learned as a counselor out in the rustic camp setting prepared me as a teacher to make a positive influence and change to my students in the classroom.
What would you tell someone who is considering attending Camp Fletcher?
I would encourage anybody (camper or counselor) to come live the experience. There is a love and energy that flows through every place and activity at camp, and you can’t fully appreciate it until you live the experience. Some individuals live the experience once, and others make it a life long journey, but everybody leaves Camp Fletcher greater for having had the opportunity to live it!
What are your top 3 favorite things about camp?
(1) The campers because they are so exciting to work with and make every minute an adventure. The louder, the crazier, and the wilder they get – that means camp is good! (2) The staff (aka. Camp Family) because the staff really is a camp family! These are some of the greatest people I have ever met and some of my best friends. Each summer is like a family reunion when we all run up and give hugs to each other! And (3) camping because I love sleeping in a tent or hammock under the stars, next to a fire, after enjoying s’mores! You can’t get any better than that!
Can you describe your camp experiences in one word?
If spending your summer at Camp Fletcher sounds great to you, then visit us online to learn more about our summer camp programs or being a counselor at Camp Fletcher!