Jack Costello


Jack Costello, three-year summer camper, wrote an assignment about passion for his English class. Jack shared that the teachers wouldn’t let him submit his Camp experience as the passion, since what happens here “can’t be measured”. Jack shared that he spoke to both teachers and said it can indeed be measured, alas, they still asked him to write on another topic. He did, and also submitted his Manito-wish experience report, even though he knew it wouldn’t be graded, because he felt it truly reflected his “passion of Camp”. In addition, his parents shared that there is no way he would have asked his teachers to reconsider without the confidence he built at Camp.

Dear Mrs. Cantrell, and Mrs. Eighner,

True passion can mean many things to many people. What I am truly passionate about are the benefits that camp has brought to me, and so many others, from childhood through teenage years. While many think camp as swimming with friends, and sitting by a campfire, it can be so much more than that. Attending camp can increase self-esteem, confidence, and happiness.

Every year I return to camp for a reason. Each and every year I learn something new, I become more confident, and my self-esteem builds. Camp teaches important lessons, and is more than just a couple of nights away from your parents. At Camp Manitowish, it’s all about the mission statement “To enrich the character and leadership development of each person who has a Manito-wish experience, by challenging them to grow in wisdom, in stature, in favor with God, and in favor with one another.” According to the American Camp Association “Quality camp experiences help children develop the healthy emotional and social skills necessary to grow into strong, considerate, competent adults.” Each of the last 3 summers I have spent 2 weeks exploring new hobbies, and experiences. For example learning to sail, nature exploration, and prepping for 4 days on trail, has taught me to work as a team, and as a leader.

On trail each year I learn to be a leader, I learn to be smart, I learned to be more confident in myself and others. When I first went on trail I was scared, and had no clue what I was doing, but after coming back each year I’ve learned to believe in myself. This past year when ontrail there was a portage called the Nickson Portage. I thought it was impossible to portage 8 miles, but after overcoming so many obstacles the past years I believed in myself, I believed that I could do it, and nothing was going to stop me. What camp has really taught me is to believe in me, that I can do anything I put my mind to.

According to Tracy Watson, Camp Director at Camp Manito-wish “Kids want to come back because they are always learning and want to learn more, in both in camp activities, and trail experiences.” In my experience, I couldn’t agree more. Though some think measuring growth from camp is not “measurable”, it really is. After 3 summers of going to camp, my personality has changed to becoming more confident, and believing in myself. Passion means different things to different people, and I hope you can see why my passion is camp.