My name is Jason Bowman and I am one of the assistant Head Counselors at Camp Chen-a-Wanda. I am 25 years old and am currently in graduate school at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. I have had different experiences so far in my life, but nothing has compared to my time at Chenny. It is truly my home away from home that I look forward to each and every year.
I would never have thought that traveling to a sleep-away camp in the endless mountains of Pennsylvania would change my life, but I was completely mistaken. I started working at Chenny during the Summer of 2015. Before arriving at camp, I was full of mixed emotions and wondering about what I got myself into, almost backing out of the whole thing. I am particularly not an outgoing individual, to say the least, but after a little of persuasion, I took a leap and went for it. This is one of the greatest decisions that I could have ever made. That summer, I started off as a basketball specialist and a counselor for the Collegiate boys. My life changed after that summer. I was honored to take on leadership roles that summer of Olympic Captain and Color War Lieutenant, which were the longest, but best days ever.
The following Summer of 2016, I was grateful to be asked to be the Assistant Head Counselor for Cherokee Camp, which is still my current position! It is hard to put it into words how much camp really does affects you, unless you have experienced it yourself. It does not matter what position at camp you hold, even if you are a new staff or a returning staff member, you will have memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Looking back at the three summers I have spent at camp, I have always admired one thing. The bonds you make. In just two months, people from all over the world, which you have never met in your entire life, become your best friends. You will meet up with these friends even after camp is over, friends that you will talk to on a daily basis. Your campers become little brothers and sisters. They look up to you, and sometimes even want to be you! On the last day of camp as the buses depart, you see campers crying, staff crying. Not a single soul that does not have tears running down their faces. These are tears of joy from an amazing summer, tears of sadness that camp is actually over. These are memories that bring you and me back to Camp Chen-A-Wanda every summer.