I had no idea what I was in for that first summer at the Marist Brothers Center at Esopus. I had just finished sophomore year at SJR and, through Brother John Dunning, I was about to volunteer with the Mid-Hudson Valley Camp. Wow, that was 15 years ago! Little did I know that trip would change my life forever.
The Mid-Hudson Valley Camp is a series of week-long camps for disabled and disadvantaged individuals every summer.
For many of us who go to camp each year it is hard to describe and put into words the magic of Esopus. The greatest, happiest, warmest place I know is good for starters. It's a place of acceptance, fun and love. It's a vacation for the campers and, for many, the one trip they look forward to all year. To see and be a part of the joy, the uninhibited fun from campers and counselors alike is the greatest gift.
At Esopus, the focus is not on the many challenges or difficulties of life. The focus is on the gift of life itself, in all its shapes and sizes and no matter what the circumstances. We don't go to camp just to say we helped out in some way; we go to camp to be reminded of what life is all about.
Costabile is a host/comedian for NBC's New York Live, reporter for Snapchat and newest host of Beat the Clock on Universal Kids.