Camp News
Camp Stories

Camp Has a Way of Teaching

By Elizabeth McCurry
June 28, 2021

Meet Lauren

Lauren Marcincavage is just your regular 23-year-old, who happens to spend her summers at the location that she calls “her favorite place in the world.” We thought maybe she was talking about Disney World, but she actually was talking about Victory Junction. Recently we sat down with Lauren to learn more about her transformation from camper to camp counselor.

Lauren grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. When she was a child, she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. As Lauren’s family began to cope with her condition, her mom joined a couple support groups for parents of kids with the same diagnosis. From suggestions of the group and Lauren’s doctor, the family registered for their first family weekend at Victory Junction in 2009. That’s when Lauren said her passion for Victory Junction started. “We had a great time as a family,” she said. “It was great for me to hang out with kids who were going through some of the same things as I was!”

Lauren posing with a camper
Lauren with a camper during summer 2019.

Since that first weekend in 2009, Lauren knew when she came through the gates of Camp, she was home. She found time in 2018 to volunteer for three weeks of summer programming. “Three weeks weren’t enough for my heart. I wanted to be at Camp as much as I possibly could.” Because of that, Lauren applied in 2019 to be a summer cabin counselor, and she got the job. She said she was excited but also so nervous, because she has always been such a shy person. “I realized after the first week with my co-counselors and campers, that what you hear about your ‘camp self’ being your best self is true. And here at Victory Junction, I can be whoever I want, and that is just ME!”

In 2020 Lauren graduated from East Carolina University with her degree in teaching. She now is “Ms. Cabbage” to groups of some awesome kindergarteners. She said that Victory Junction really prepared her for many things she would use in her classroom. “Camp really makes you realize how important inclusion is,” Lauren said. “And that’s no different than some of the things I teach in my classroom. Making sure everyone feels welcome and like they fit in- just like what we do at camp.” She started laughing and also said, “I also learned the quiet sign we use at Camp, and my kids really like that too!”

This summer, Lauren can be found at Camp in a lot of different program areas as a general counselor. We asked her though, why does she use her summers off teaching the young minds of America to come to Camp, and she replied with a big smile on her face. “If you haven’t had the chance to come here, you just don’t get it. Nothing in this world fills my bucket more than coming here. Victory Junction is about being a part of something bigger than yourself. You get to make people feel a warm and fuzzy feeling and that is the best. You see kids in their very purest form and are able to help them accomplish things they never thought they could. It is my favorite place in the world for a reason.”

Lauren leading a parent riding a horse
Lauren leading a parent riding a horse during summer 2021.