In our last counselor interview, we heard from Ally, an Australian who loves camp about as much as I do (which is A LOT)! This week, we’ve jumped across the world to the USA, to find out why Kyle decided to work at summer camp, even though he never went as a kid. Kyle also makes these awesome pins that are all camp themed… go check them out @camp_pindrops
1. Where did you go to camp? How many years?
I never actually went to camp as a kid, although I’ve been working at Camp Towanda in Pennsylvania for 8 summers now.
2. Why did you decide to work at summer camp?
I was looking for a new experience outside of my hometown. Camp Towanda had an open position for their Waterfront Director which at the time had aligned with my previous work experience.
3. What is/was your role at camp?
I was the Waterfront Director for my first two summers and then transitioned into being a Group Leader which is where I’ve been the last 6 summers. I started with my boys when they were 9 and plan on being with them till they reach their final Waiter summer at 16, (They’re currently 14).
4. Did camp meet your expectations? In what ways?
Camp did not meet my expectations at all, it far succeeded them. I was looking for a one-time experience that could help build my resume. Little did I know Camp was the most amazing, magical, and rewarding experience you could ever get from a job. Any one who’s ever been there knows how impactful the camp life and family becomes to your life!
5. What 3 essential items would you never go to camp without?
Rainboots, crazy creek, and an eggcrate!
6. What is your best/favourite camp memory?
Ah so many to chose from! Probably the last year I was a General in the Olympics and got to coach my Camper Captains to a Rope Burning Victory. That feeling walking through the Rec Hall after winning the most memorable camp event of the year will never go away.
7. What is/was your favourite camp food?
Grilled Cheese, Sunday BBQ’s, and Jonesy’s Cookies!
8. What is/was your favourite camp cheer/chant?
It never gets old when the whole camp breaks into an 8:15 Reveille chant although I’d have to go with either the 15 year old boys “Club Chant” or anything from Girls Sing, I’m a huge Girls Sing fan!
9. What is your favourite camp saying/word/expression?
I could go all day with these.. What’s for lunch? Hooty hoo, don’t forget your sunscreen, boys camp boys camp boys camp, jamoke, skeeyee, and so many more!
10. Where did you travel to after camp (if you travelled)?
As an American staff, I typically go back to school within a week of camp ending so there isn’t much traveling I get to experience afterwards. I do come from the West Coast so getting to visit around the East Coast on days off every week is something I never imagined. I also make sure to spend the weekend directly after camp with the staff in New York as a final farewell for the summer.
11. How has camp influenced you/who you are/what you do?
I highly contribute who I am today to camp. Camp makes me want to be a better person, it teaches me sacrifice and selflessness while allowing me to play a huge role in the lives of my campers every summer. I’ve gone back to school to get degrees in education after my experience working with camp, and I see my future revolving around the experience I’ve gained while at camp.
12. What is the BEST thing about being a summer camp counsellor?
First and foremost, the kids. I’ve had a group of boys for 5 years now and working with them is by far the best part of my camp experience. The other best thing would be the family I’ve gained from camp. You could go years without seeing each other and pick up like you never missed a day apart.
13. What’s the WORST thing?
10 for 2. We only get 2 months of summer to the 10 months away and saying goodbye at the end is almost impossible every summer. I cry.
14. What the most important thing that camp has taught you?
Patience, resilience, resourcefulness, integrity, and so much more!
15. Anything else you want to say to people thinking about working at summer camp?
Don’t be afraid to jump in and let go for the greatest ride ever! If you take that chance on camp, it will be the best decision of your life. One summer will keep you coming back for more.
If you’ve worked at summer camp and want to take part our Counselor of the Week series, leave a comment below, send us an email or find us on social media!