Global Encounters Is An International Three And A Half Week Camp Essays

Global Encounters Is An International Three And A Half Week Camp Essays

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The sound of a telephone ringing crossed with toilet flushing comes from my laptop. It is 3am in Chicago and I am super jet lagged. I click the green video button and on my screen appears two of my friends in Dubai. It has only been a day since I got back from Kenya, but I have missed these guys already. They get right into catching me up on their lives as I look for a pair of headphones so we don’t wake up everyone in my house.
In the summer of 2014, I attend a prestigious camp called Global Encounters. Global Encounters is an international three and a half week camp based in Kenya focused on service, leadership, and culture. It was the most astounding experience I’ve had. At camp, I met 82 people from 23 different countries. The bonds I created with everyone at camp, are connections I will never forget. When I visit countries where my friends live, or if my friends happen to be in Chicago, we always meet up. This doesn’t happen often, which amplifies the use of Facebook and Skype.
Coming back from camp was a huge change. I had become used to seeing my friends in the morning at breakfast, but when I came downstairs after camp, my house was dead silent. I would spend my early mornings Skyping or on Facebook messenger talking to my friends. I only had 5 days of summer left after returning from camp. I spent a lot of that time on my laptop and phone. I knew I would get busy when school started, so I spent those days staring at screens. I knew the probability of us being this close would not last long.
My parents were not too pleased with me being on my phone or laptop consistently when I had come back. Multiple times they threatened to take my devices away. Skype and a group chat kept all of the conversations going. I could see ...


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...taying connected has helped me build strong relations with people at camp. Just this past summer, I had a 17-hour stopover in London. Before leaving, I Facebook messaged my friends in London that I was coming. They came to pick me up at the airport and showed me around there home. My best friend from camp lives in Leeds, a city in England, took a 6-hour train to come meet me. Since my stay in London was an overnight stay, my friend lent me a bed at his home until I had to leave.
Social media has helped maintained my friendships and in result from that, I have been able to grow as a person. I have expanded my social network, something I take great pride in. I much prefer talking in person, but that isn’t probable, so video chatting fills the void. Though all this time has passed, social media and technology has helped me keep in touch with people who changed my life.

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