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Because of Camp… How Camp Shaped My Life as an Adult

The following was submitted by Kim “Ruddy” Pateau, camp director at Sky High Ranch. Kim grew up as a Girl Scout in Western Washington. Learn more about summer camps Ruddy leads or register now for summer camp!


Ruddy brownie GS


As I look down at the supplies on my living room floor; a suitcase, passport, cowboy boots, a coloring book and my membership pin, I think to myself, “How many people get to go to a conference in London to talk to young adults about coming to America to work and play with kids while canoeing, hiking, rock climbing, zip lining, playing with farm animals and otherwise having the best summer of their lives!?”

Because of camp, I’ve found a career that allows me to experience new adventures and challenges without fear or trepidation. I look forward to what new might be thrown my way because I’ve learned so many skills along my journey.

Certainly I’ve had many other positive influences in my life to help shape who I am; my parents, my friends, my opportunities as an American (corny I know), however, camp is the only place where I was completely safe, yet challenged beyond my comfort zone at the same time. Aside from making life-long friends, I’ve gained skills such as positive-risk taking, follow through and commitment, money management, supervision/management, team work and people skills, as well as youth development and program planning.

Through camp, have I gained outdoor skills and self-reliance. I had such a broad variety of experiences, I have been able to sample a little bit of everything, from sailing and crafting, to rock climbing and horseback riding. I look at life as being full of challenges, rather than obstacles. Challenges that I’m able to overcome with hard work and perseverance.

My life would not be the same if it weren’t for my experiences at camp, and I’m happy to say that so many of the adventures I’ve taken in life both physically and emotionally are due to camp. Camp molded and shaped me into the person I am today.

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