Wakonda forever

For Kevy Huynh ’23, Camp Wakonda is the best way to spend the summer.

Kevy+%28right%29+and+two+other+Scouts+pose+for+a+picture+at+Camp+Wakonda.
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Wakonda forever

Kevy (right) and two other Scouts pose for a picture at Camp Wakonda.

Kevy (right) and two other Scouts pose for a picture at Camp Wakonda.

Kevy (right) and two other Scouts pose for a picture at Camp Wakonda.

Kevy (right) and two other Scouts pose for a picture at Camp Wakonda.

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Some kids dread the long, boring, hot days that may come with summer. Others look forward to fun-filled days with friends. For Kevy Huynh ‘23, summer brings one of her favorite things – being a camp counselor in training at Camp Wakonda at Howard H. Cherry Scout Reservation in Central City, Iowa.

“I used to hate summer because I would be away from all my friends. But now, I am always looking forward to summer, because I know that I’ll get to see them again.” Huynh said. ”Just working with the kids, and seeing them happy… I mean, it’s a wonderful feeling, you know, and I wouldn’t, I really wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

To work at Camp Wakonda you must be a registered Scout in Scouts BSA. Huynh originally joined Scouts BSA on March first, 2019 because her brother is Scouts BSA and she wanted to get to experiences he gets. That lead to trying summer camp, where Huynh found one her true passions.

“I would never leave, if I had a choice. Maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration. But my point is, I would have gladly stayed like a full school year there and taught there,” Huynh said.

Huynh wasn’t originally a counselor at camp. She went for a week as a camper, discovering what it was like at camp. Overall she loved camp, one of her favorite things being free time, which she liked to spend at the handicraft center. After her week as a camper, Huynh got suggestions to be a counselor in training, so she tried it. Following that she became a camp counselor in training.

With camp’s early mornings, and long days filled with activities, teaching, and lots of different people, the job was meant to be. Many of Huynh’s personality traits already are a perfect match for being a camp counselor. 

“She’s very energetic, all the time. She talks a lot, to basically everyone. I feel like no matter who you put in a room with, she’ll talk to them. She’s very nice like that, you can tell her anything.” said Amelia Stevens, ‘23.

Camp isn’t just the place, or the activities there, it’s the people. The staff and the Scouts make camp what it is. Huynh felt a special connection with the other staff members.

I don’t dislike anybody at camp. They’re a second family to me. You know it’s, it’s just like, they’re the type of people I can just be myself with. And I can even yell ‘I hate you’ at them and they’ll laugh and give me a bowl of ramen.”

— Kevy Huynh

“I don’t dislike anybody at camp. They’re a second family to me. You know it’s, it’s just like, they’re the type of people I can just be myself with. And I can even yell ‘I hate you’ at them and they’ll laugh and give me a bowl of ramen.” Huynh said.

The campers are also a very important aspect of camp. Huynh has many memories of camp, but one in particular stands out. While at walking a couple of campers to a campsite where archery was set up, the younger of the two campers completemed Huynh, saying that she is her favorite teacher at camp. The other camper agreed, adding how nice and fun Huynh is. Huynh feels honored.

“‘I mean, it gives you this feeling. And it’s like.. I am loved.” Huynh recalls, smiling.

Huynh’s discovery of Camp Wakonda was very impactful, something Huynh looks forward to for summers to come. Huynh is planning on returning this coming summer to work as a camp counselor again, because for her, camp is life.

“It’s like when you put the puzzle together. And you put the last piece in. And it’s just you get this like feeling and you’re so proud and accomplished of yourself. At the end of the day of every single day at camp, we feel so proud of ourselves. And we’re so we are so exhausted, and we just eat and go to bed. But It’s just the exhilaration of being able to work with these people and doing all these things that you know, during the school year, you’re never able to do. And It’s just I love it.” Huynh said.

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