When we are born, our parents give us the name that they see for us. Sometimes, those names are passed down through a family. Sometimes, it is the gut feeling they have. For my family, my parents workshopped the name “Hannah” for me throughout my parents’ pregnancy, and when I was born, they decided to go with “Hayley” instead, thinking that it fit a little better of who I was becoming before their eyes.
For some of us, the name and identity we were assigned at birth do not sit well as we begin to develop, so we choose a different name. For some of us, we choose to take or hyphenate our spouses’ name upon marriage. All in all, it is not very often that we engage in the practice of choosing our own names.
At camp, our staff go through a renaming process, where each gets to live into a chosen name. Some of them come from legends and jokes; some of them come from hobbies and interests; and some of them choose us. For example, I became “StingRey” as I was first stung by a bee at an open house event at DuBois Center. I think stingrays are cool animals, and Rey from Star Wars is one of my favorite movie characters of all time.
We welcome Fog, Nala, Kermit, Bubbles, Ringo, Thunder, Gizmo, and Lemon to our counselor team this summer, and welcome Sharkbait, Simba, Mango, and Kiwi to our leadership team!