From Camper to Counselor, Sean Manji’s Story isn’t so different from the stories of his fellow Camp McCumber Counselors. In fact, nearly every member of our Camp McCumber staff were once campers themselves. Sean came to camp for the first time at the age of 10. Now, over a decade later, Sean is doing everything he can to ensure that the campers in cabin 8 have the same magical experience that kept him coming back for more.
For Sean and his fellow Counselors Camp McCumber is more than just a trip to the woods. It’s a trip to their home away from home with their second family. The same can be said for all the campers that attend the week long excursion. The camp site is nestled next to the Lake McCumber Reservoir just a few short miles from Mt. Lassen. A dozen cabins are sprinkled under a canopy of redwood trees making the air feel just a little fresher wherever you go inside the camp. Each Cabin is numbered and for the week of camp each cabin is decorated and called home by six to eight young people.
It’s in and around these cabins where lifelong friendships and memories are made. Sean has been a counselor for four years and says that the environment at Camp McCumber along with the friends and experiences transformed him into the man he is today. This is a transformation that he hopes to help the campers of cabin 8 make as well.
“I want them to be their best selves. If I can change their life for just one week it makes it all worth it. It keeps me coming back,” Sean said while sitting just outside the mess hall at the heart of the camp.
“We had kids two years ago who lost their homes in the Carr Fire. I mean they were devastated by that and they can come to camp and they can escape. They come to a place where they can be safe and they can grow just like I did.”
And grow they do. You would be hard pressed to find a camper that doesn’t feel like they gained something from their stay at McCumber. Whether it’s learning new skills, discovery pieces of their identity, or making new friends there is always something that will make a lasting impact on the campers.
Here at the Y we are honored and thrilled to be able to offer a place for young people in the community to call home for a week. We trust that our camp counselors (Sean included) will be able to help young people discover things about themselves that they can bring back to the community and use for a better us.