Tuesday, August 28, 2012 by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A Life-Changing Experience

By Justin Friedman, Counselor, Camp Homeward Bound

When I was thirteen years old, I hit a turning point in my life: I discovered music and playing the guitar. This wouldn't have happened if I hadn't met a man named Joe Carbone who mentored me throughout high school and drastically changed the course of my life. For years, I’ve been looking for a way to be that figure to kids who may not have had the same opportunities I did.

Having the chance to volunteer as a music counselor at CHB did just that for me. In the last two summers, I’ve taught the guitar to hundreds of campers. While most showed little interest, there were those handful who really grabbed on to music. Upon returning for my second summer, I’ve really seen how those children have grown. From the moment they got off the bus, many ran right over to me, eager to pick up where we left off. A few had even purchased their own guitars. Seeing how music had become so important to them really moved me and drove home that I had made the right decision to return this year to camp.

For this summer’s first talent show I assembled four bands, with a mixture of both new and returning campers. We worked as a team and became our own little family within camp – practicing in any small pockets of free time we had. Seeing the kids’ faces as they performed on stage was priceless. Camp Homeward Bound is a place where we all learn from each other – from the diverse staff or the campers themselves. I can only hope I have changed the lives of some of these boys and girls a fraction of how they’ve certainly changed mine.

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