Sometimes in life, one’s greatest memories may come from somewhere unexpected. Prior to the summer of 2017, I expected my job to simply be, a job. I had no real significant work experience at that point, and expected to simply do my part, put in my time, and collect my paycheck. But when I arrived at Shibley Day Camp on the first day of the summer two years ago, my expectations were immediately altered.
Before I get into that allow me to introduce myself. My name is Danny Kosofsky; though you may know me as, “The Bungee Guy.” What you may not know about me however, is the person I used to be: immensely insecure, introverted, and antisocial. I have dealt with anxiety and have at times felt like I couldn’t assign meaning or purpose to my life—all of which changed after working at camp Shibley.
Upon my arrival on the first day of camp two summers ago, I couldn’t help but smile seeing hundreds of excited and gleeful children eager to enjoy their summer. This was so satisfying for me to see because I was that same kid with the big grin on my face at camp not too long ago. It was as if I was placed in a time machine and was being transported back to elementary school and was placed back in a time where I constantly played with friends and lived my life without judgement or care. Camp for me as a camper was a blast, but as a counselor, camp also became exceedingly meaningful.
One of the most important things for me as a camper was my relationships with my counselors. To this day, I still think about the counselors that have impacted me in positive ways. I am extremely grateful to have had such wonderful counselors throughout my camp life; many of whom have helped shaped who I am today. From the start, I became infatuated with the idea that I could be that same counselor that had a positive impact on me, to the children at Shibley Day Camp.
Working with children, brought out a side of me I didn’t even knew existed. I tried to think about the children’s perspectives, dreams, and interests. I tried to gain insight in what was going through their minds, and how I could learn and grow as a person through them. I simply wanted to treat every kid with the same amount of respect and kindness and was always genuinely interested to listen to the children talk about themselves and see how they interacted with others.
Above all else, I was blown away by the exceptionally large quantity of children who were kind and treated me with benevolence. As a result, I was compelled and driven to do the best that I could and have as much of a positive impact on the children and community around me as possible. I wanted to make bungee a memorable experience for everyone that came and put in my all every single day to do just that.
Throughout the course of the past two summers, I have become increasingly social, confident, and empathetic. While I attribute much of the aforementioned traits to the children, I would be remiss to not mention the outstanding faculty at this camp. For the first time in my life, I finally felt a sense of purpose and appreciation, which as a result, made me eager and excited to work every day. The staff has always been extremely positive and good-natured, and I felt as though I was being welcomed to a family the very first time I stepped through the doors at Shibley Day Camp. I have made so many new friends and have met so many great people throughout my tenure at Shibley. I am incredibly grateful and honored to work with and for such virtuous people and have also learned a lot about myself through them as well.
My experience at Shibley was more impactful and meaningful to me than I could have ever expected. To be honest I didn’t really even know what to expect, but from my time as an employee I came to a very important realization: It’s not about what you expect from life, it’s about what life expects from you.
I had the greatest job I could ever ask for, and hope I was able to have as much of a positive impact on the children, as they had on me. I am forever grateful to have worked for such a great camp with such terrific staff members and campers. Shibley Day Camp will always hold a special place in my heart.
Danny “The Bungee Guy”