My Hot Girl Summer Changed My Life

I was a camp counselor for children with disabilities

Kendra Sparkles
The Narrative Arc
Published in
6 min readJun 16, 2024


Photo of the back of a female sitting by a pool with wet hair
Photo by margot pandone on Unsplash

My overstuffed suitcase bounced in every direction as I heaved it up the gravel driveway and through the wrought iron gate that welcomed me to camp.

“You know the counselors wear uniforms, right? You didn’t need to bring all these clothes,” said a returning counselor with wild red hair and a nametag that read Kate.

“I know,” I replied dismissively, trying to calm my frizzy hair and vowing never to let it get as crazy as hers. “This place has air conditioning, right? I can’t go an entire summer looking like this.” I tried to make it sound like a joke but my makeup-caked frown lines gave me away.

Kate did little to conceal her eye roll before helping tug my suitcase up the never-ending driveway and into my stiflingly hot bunk. I surveyed the shabby room crammed with old bunk beds and knew instantly that coming here was a mistake.

When I took a summer job as a counselor at a sleepaway camp for children with physical disabilities, I’d ignored every detail about the job except one — it was located near a popular vacation destination for A-list celebrities, according to my main source of information, E! News.