Welcome campers! My name is Canon and this is my first summer working at Catalina Sea Camp as a scuba instructor. I never attended a camp when I was younger so it is so exciting for me to be at a new place with new experiences. I had no idea what to expect or what I was getting myself into. To be honest, I was really nervous and now I know what it is like to have summer camp jitters. Although I was nervous on the boat ride over, I met some of the people I was going to be working with and the nerves began to disappear as excitement filled their place. Some staff had worked at camp before and others where just as new and nervous as I. However as everyone addressed my concerns I began to feel confident I made the right choice to come to camp. Comments like “you are going to have so much fun at camp” and “it’s so great at camp you won’t want to leave” helped comfort me. Finally, we docked at Catalina Island in the city of Avalon, it wasn’t my first time being to the island, but something about this time was different.
Driving the roads to Toyon Bay was a whole new adventure in itself; the sights, the history, the bison! Yes the bison, standing right there on the side of the road so close you could reach out and touch it. Amazing, I thought to myself, this was only the beginning to my wonderful summer at Sea Camp. Before descended on the final stretch of road, we were able to see camp in it’s entirety. This wonderful view that we call our back yard, the different shades of ocean blue, the sail boats that glide across the water, and the Catalina flyer off in the distances making its way back to the mainland. It’s official, I made it to my office, to my place of employment; I work on an island now! Yes! What more could I ask for, by now the jitters had vanished. The only feeling remaining in my stomach was the fluttering butterflies that excitement enlists.
As soon as we pulled into camp the lunch bell rang, and I reverted back to being the nervous over thinker I usually am. I thought to myself “oh no, who will I sit with, what if I have to sit alone”. Yet this experience was not like the middle school lunchtime I thought it was going to be. Every person in the lunch line introduced themselves with a smile and a friendly voice. “Huh, this is not so bad,” I thought as I stacked food onto my plate. As I exited the kitchen I saw an empty table, quickly sat, and start eating. One by one new faces start to fill in the empty spots around me. Everyone began speaking to one another, including me as though we had known each other forever. They made me feel like I was already a part of the camp family even though I was there no more than a few hours.
Now, I have been here for almost a month. New friends have been made and so much fun as already been had. Summer hasn’t even started and I love it here already, the staff, the administrators, the games and activities. I have worked so hard to get to Catalina Sea Camp and I am finally here continuing my education in diving and marine science. Now I get to use everything I have learned to educate and excite the younger generation that will be attending camp. I can’t wait to see the excited faces that summer brings. I can only hope that I too can give the comfort and feeling of excitement to the new and old toyon bay campers. I am at home here! Again, welcome campers! We can’t tell you excited we are to welcome campers to CIMI this summer.