Last week you heard all about Anne’s first summer at camp, this week it’s time to hear from Rachel, a long time camper and staff member.
1. Where did you go to camp? How many years?
My siblings and I spent our first 4 camp years at a place called Camp Redwood…but in 2007 good fortune struck the Bodden family and we ended up at Camp Sloane YMCA! I spent 5 glorious summers at Sloane as a camper and staff member.
2. Why did you decide to work at summer camp?
I decided to work at a summer camp when I was 11 years old. As a camper, I looked upon counselors as my role models. They were the best and coolest people I had ever met. My best memories and most useful pieces of advice were from the people who lived, played, and got dirty with us campers. As I got closer to the age that I would actually be able to work at camp, I knew that I wanted to be one of the people that I had looked up to so much, and be able to give others the gift that I had been given.
3. What is/was your role at camp?
My first two summers I was a tent counselor who worked on Girl’s Waterfront. My third summer on staff I was lucky enough to become the Girl’s Aquatics Director, which in my opinion is the absolute best job on camp!!!
4. Did camp meet your expectations? In what ways?
Camp far surpassed my expectations in every way, as a camper and as a counselor. When I was a camper, I didn’t know what to expect but ended up having the best time of my life. When I became a counselor, I also didn’t know what to expect…I expected to work hard and have a good time, but I didn’t expect to have an AMAZING time while working myself to near exhaustion everyday… and wake up and be so excited and so ready to do it all over again the next day!
5. What 3 essential items would you never go to camp without?
Sunscreen is definitely essential item number one for me… Item two is bug spray and item three is probably my red onesie…can’t get a more versatile item of clothing!
6. What is your best/favourite camp memory?
This is difficult…I have lots a fabulous camp memories. I think that Color War this past summer might be the best, I had a great day sweating in my red onesie and then got to participate in the colored-powder throwing at the end of the day. Super fun and super messy!
7. What is/was your favourite camp food?
Breakfast…specifically corned beef hash and scrambled eggs.
8. What is/was your favourite camp cheer/chant?
Since I like to yell, I really like them all, but since I was a student girl at Sloane, my favorite cheer was the “BOOM BOOM BANG BANG GOTSTA HAVE A BOOMERANG” cheer… I like all of the made up words.
9. What is your favourite camp saying/word/expression?
Not CA (camp appropriate)
10. Where did you travel to after camp (if you travelled)?
I didn’t travel, but I had lots of camp people stay with me when I went to school in Washington DC! Gave some pretty solid tours of the city!
11. How has camp influenced you/who you are/what you do?
Camp gave me the tools to become a fabulous swim instructor, which in turn made me realize that I love to teach. I changed my career path based on my love of teaching children…which began at camp!
12. What is the BEST thing about being a summer camp counsellor?
Being in a camp bubble for 10 weeks is the greatest thing ever…everything that you care about is right on camp, you don’t have to worry about your phone or responding to emails, and all you have to worry about is frolicking in the sun and making sure children are safe and having a great time. It’s a wonderful, simple existence and the perfect break from the fast-paced crazy world we live in.
13. What’s the WORST thing?
14. What the most important thing that camp has taught you?
It taught me to ask for help, and that I can’t always do everything myself. In camp it is super important to ask for help, and ask others if they need help to keep everything balanced. Sometimes tasks are just too big for one person, or you can’t figure out how to handle a certain child, or just need a little support, etc. The sooner you realize that there’s no shame in needing help, the better.
15. Anything else you want to say to people thinking about working at summer camp?
One of the greatest things about working at camp is the fact that you will make friends of a different caliber – apart from school friends, work friends, or home friends. You live with these people, sweat, cry, laugh, and get ridiculous with them. The coolest people on camp are the ones who don’t try to be cool, but throw themselves into the crazy of camp, have camp spirit, chant the loudest, and play the hardest. At the end of the summer, you will have friends from all parts of the world… I know that I can go almost anywhere in the world and have a place to stay, which is so awesome!