I remember feeling happier and more loved by a community than I ever had.
My first summer at camp was 2010, when I was an awkward, overly energetic 10 year old. I came to camp with few existing friends at a time when camp was predominantly Boston people as a girl from New Jersey. In spite of the fact that I was not set up on paper to become enveloped and loved by the Micah community, it was at age 10 at Micah that I first truly felt accepted for my personality and celebrated for my uniqueness. I can pinpoint the exact place and moment that I felt true acceptance. I decided to try out for the play because when I first went to Milt’s, the building and its staff seemed so full of joy and laughter, and I just wanted to be surrounded by as much of that energy as possible. The play was Beauty and the Beast, and one day when I showed up for rehearsal, we were practicing the song “Kill the Beast.” My 10-year-old friends along with the boys from B-15 playing Gaston & Lefou and cast members of all ages began marching around Milt’s like a mob and belting out the song, reaching a peak of ridiculousness and volume at the line “screw your courage to the sticking place.” At that moment of craziness and unity, I remember feeling happier and more loved by a community than I ever had. Feeling this at such a young age was so formative because it molded me to grow up feeling confident and empowered through the rough times of being a kid knowing that I had a place and group of people that loved me not only for who I was, but because of who I was.