Camp Stories

My Campfire: A Camp story from Camp Director Emily McFarlane

Emily is smiling while sitting on a blanket on the grass in front of a campfire. There are horses in a field in the background and a fire burning bright in the foreground.It may take time for some to find it, but we all have a fire within us. Something that drives us and aligns us to our truest self. I believe my fire is a campfire.

A fact about me: I am a camp-baby. In 1977 my parents met as teens and camp counsellors at the CNIB Lake Joseph center in Ontario. Inspired by their own experiences, my parents wanted me to work at Lake Joe as soon as I was old enough. So, in 2005, I set out on my first summer at camp! I think their hope (ulterior motive) was for me to find my one true love, just as they had. Lucky enough, I did in fact find that life-long love – however not in a person, but in CAMP!

I found my place and sense of self at camp. I was a nerdy and goofy kid; I liked to sing (mostly off key), in school; I loved to learn and participate, I danced to no music, I shared how I was feeling and loved to listen to other’s feelings. Those were things that I felt didn’t typically fall into the idea of being “cool” when I was a young teen. However, when I started to go to camp, I was cool! People loved and appreciated my positive attitude and my love of silliness. I felt that I was finally celebrated for being my truest self. Camp lit a fire within me; a campfire.  Every day since I have aspired to live as my truest, goofiest, and most vulnerable self, I try to keep my campfire burning bright!

Campfires are a gathering space. A place to come together in the name of celebration of togetherness. Whether that be coming together as a camp community, or a coming together of your own self. Singing the high notes free of judgement, or sharing life stories to open and listening ears and hearts. A campfire is a place for us to be who we are! Campfires are a warm safe space for us to gather in the cold dark night ,and although we may not be “together” in the traditional sense this summer, I hope the love of camp burns bright within each of our own campfires.

Do you have a camp story you would like to share on Blind beginnings and CNIB social media this summer? Follow this link to submit your camp story!

Microsoft form link for camp story submission: https://bit.ly/3hRRssk