by Emily Leamon
I started making friendship bracelets when I was around 6. I had no idea back then how much of an impact these little knotted pieces of string would have on someone. Bracelets are something I always bring up to people when I talk about camp, or sometimes they ask me about them since I, like many other counselors and campers, sport my bracelets on my wrists all year round.
Most campers begin with a simple candy stripe or chevron bracelet, but more advanced bracelet makers print out patterns and use as many strings as they can. When I was a camper, there was a friend group that made a bracelet with 64 strings. Big or small, intricate or simple, these bracelets hold a lot of meaning to everyone at camp. Hours of work and a lot of love and care go into each bracelet, and you can see how proud campers are of these wonderful works of wearable art their friends have made! (They’ll even take you on a “tour” of their bracelets.)
Personally, I have every single bracelet I have ever received at camp, from SCATS 2012 to present, and I cherish them more than any other relic from camp. Looking at them brings back so many memories, and I love teaching campers how to make their first bracelets. No matter who the campers are or how long it took to make the bracelet, you can tell how proud and happy they are to have created it, and then they run around sharing their joy with others.