My name is Nik Lust. I worked at Misquah as a counsellor from 2008 to 2011. I was the Director of Misquah from 2012 to 2014. I was also the site manager in 2016. This is not a story I share often, but I’d like to tell you how Misquah changed my life.
Before starting my first year as a counsellor in 2008, I was an anxious and uninspired 18 year old high school student. I routinely skipped classes, failed courses, and even came back an extra year to get my diploma. I couldn’t hold down a part-time job and didn’t know what I wanted to do in life. I took everything for granted. My friend suggested we apply to Misquah together. I didn’t think much of it. I applied.
I still vividly remember the first day the campers arrived. I met all the campers in my cabin, and we went back to the cabin to get settled in. Everyone was so excited to be at camp. The energy that everyone in my cabin gave out was contagious. Later that night, we went up to the dining hall for the dance. It was not like anything I had seen before. Even though most of the campers face massive challenges in their day-to-day lives – challenges that I have never faced – everyone was dancing, smiling, and radiant.
Despite the hurdles and challenges faced, campers had the time of their life at the camp. Whether it was hiking, dancing, canoeing, swimming, singing, or the talent show, it seemed like everyone was happy. A memory that particularly stands out was in 2014, when one camper decided to sneakily come behind me and spray me with ketchup and mustard. We got into a ketchup and mustard fight, laughing uncontrollably the whole time.
Year after year, I learned something new from every single camper. Every camper inspired me to be a better person, to give more than take, to work harder, and most importantly, to always find the good in things. The effort and passion that the staff and the board put into making Misquah work facilitated all of this.
Fast forward 10 years later, and I just graduated Law School. As a Lawyer, I hope to keep the spirit of Misquah in my life by working hard to help others in need. This is how Misquah changed my life.