We are so fortunate to be able to watch the young members of our community grow into incredible adults. We are touched by their recollections of their summers at our sleepaway camps in new england, and the impact Camps Kenwood & Evergreen has had on their lives:
Looking back, I can’t help but attribute a large part of who I am today to my counselors and the peers I grew up with.
Growing up in a family that went to K&E, it was basically all I wanted to do the second my older brother got to go. Once there, it was all I could hope for and more. Kenwood has a way of gently challenging its campers to be better teammates, better friends, and as a result, better people. Being a good person is paramount. My counselors were the best role models I could ask for, so when I became a counselor, I basically tried my best to do for my campers what they did for me, and therein lies the power of the cyclical nature of Kenwood. Campers become counselors, and the traditions and values are always passed on to the next generation.
– Bennett Z., 2nd Generation Camper, Counselor, Color War Head Coach & Unit Leader
Camps Kenwood-Evergreen provided me a place to not only be me, but also discover me. Through exposure to numerous activities, trips and people, K&E allows campers to try new things in a comfortable setting, while also allowing us to push our own limits. I’ll never forget the first time that I climbed all 6,288 feet of Mt Washington, what an accomplishment!
And then, as a counselor, I was able to provide that opportunity for others as I led the Mt Washington trip for 40 campers. Each of these trips, allowed the participants to learn and grow as we encountered new challenges and experiences together. Unlike any other camp, Camps Kenwood-Evergreen provide a supportive and structured environment that exposes campers to new experiences and allows us all to become our own individuals.
– Lisa H, former Camper, Counselor, Color War Head Coach & Unit Leader
I’d like to give you a sense of why Kenwood & Evergreen means so much to me. My first summer there, I was nine, had a buzz cut, and was small. I was a little nervous at the start, but that didn’t last long. I made friends quickly, and my awesome counselor Rudy became my mentor. He taught me a lot about living in close quarters with other kids.
It is my home away from home for the past three summers, nestled in the beautiful hills of rural New Hampshire, near Mount Kearsage. Along with 150 other boys, who are like brothers to me, I have a blast playing sports, music, art, and facing lots of challenges.
– Brad, 13 years old
To me, camp is about more than theater and sports. It’s about figuring out how to live with a lot of kids who have different personalities. It’s about becoming more independent. Can you imagine spending your summer in a serene world with no real worries for seven weeks? I can. Whether it’s a place, a person, or an activity, we all need something to look forward to. We all need something to keep us going and motivated. For me, that place is Camps Kenwood & Evergreen on Eagle Pond near Mt. Kearsage, the blue ghost.
– Danielle, 12 years old
I essentially grew up at Camps Kenwood & Evergreen. I spent every summer between the ages of 10-15 as a camper loving every moment with my counselors and friends. When I was able to work at K&E I stayed for as long as possible, in fact, I put in more summers there as a staff member. I felt like I was giving back to place that had done so much for me and I wanted to re-create the amazing summers I experienced as a child for my campers. The friends that I made at camp actually make up the majority of my social network in my adult life and I love that I am still deeply connected to that magical place I love so.
– David Z., former Camper, Counselor, Unit Leader & Specialist
Camp Evergreen was my second home for 8 summers. It has been 6 years since my final summer and I still believe going there was one of the most significant experiences of my life. My friends from Camp Evergreen are and will forever be my closest friends. I attended another camp prior to going to Evergreen and the experiences were like night and day. Evergreen is unique. It is a special place that I will forever feel connected to. I grew up at Camp Evergreen. I still return to Evergreen every summer. I return to see the people there I miss. I return to walk down the Evergreen path and take a stroll down memory lane. Mostly though, I return to be in a place where I remember being silly, carefree, and happy. The point is, I truly believe Camp Evergreen changed my life.
– Tracy P., former Camper & Counselor
My best friends today are the friends that I met when I was 12 at camp. Camps Kenwood and Evergreen are unlike any other place. It’s a place where you can be who you really are, where being yourself is not only allowed but people want you to show all of your colors. When I was a kid I was going through a really rough time with my family. Scott Brody was the person who came to my house, and helped me and my parents talk to each other, even though I had not been in Camp for three years. Years later I became a counselor for five summers. Camps Kenwood and Evergreen will be part of my life for the rest of my life. It has made me a better person and the friends that I have made there I love like family
– Dan M., former Camper, Counselor & Unit Leader
When I look back on camp it’s hard to think of one thing that means the most to me or influenced me the most. Without a doubt, however, the camp experience would not have been the same without the people. I spent seven years there as a camper and five on staff and in the process developed friendships that still exist even though I no longer spend summers in New Hampshire. I still get together with friends from camp whenever possible and talk about things that happened to us over 15 years ago. From weekend events, Color War, cookouts, and odd nicknames we came up with, to coaching teams, leading overnights, and Tri-State Softball (we came so close in 1998), the stories never get old.
I have friends from camp, college, high school, and work, and I never hesitate to make a trip to visit with my camp friends. I have been to their homes and met their families, seen concerts around the country with them, and gone to their weddings. Seven weeks (eight or nine on staff) is only so much time to get to spend with someone during the summer, yet we always managed to make every second count.
So, while I could easily sit here and type out my favorite memories from camp (and I want to), I will leave it here by saying that while I miss not being able to spend the summer in NH, I am reassured by the fact that I can make a quick trip and see my friends more or less on a whim. And yes, I’ll probably visit camp this summer.
– Phil N., 2nd Generation Camper, Counselor & Unit Leader
At the young age of 7 I knew that I was being passed from one set of family to another – to a new camp family that raised me for 14 consecutive summers. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t speak to a former bunk-mate, co-counselor, former counselor or even a current camper; this is the kind of community that carries us gently through our lives, and supports us through the best times and the tougher times of life. What is it I remember the most? The smell of the sweet pines, the sounds of camp songs, the cool Eagle pond water. The environment of Camps Kenwood & Evergreen is as alive in my life as the friends and legends who make it the special place it is today.
– Ben O., 2nd Generation Camper, Counselor, Unit Leader & Color War Head Coach