FINDING YOUR LIFE’S WORK (AND LOVE!)
I grew up going to sleep away camp, but it wasn’t until I started working at my own camp, that I realized how much camp meant to me. After working at camp for 1 summer, I knew that I wanted to be involved with camp any way I could as an adult. I continued to work at camp throughout college, while also majoring in education.
I ended up meeting my husband at camp, which is part of the reason that camp is still so special to me. My husband, Alex, is from London, and we spent a few summers working as counselors together. Then our jobs took us to the UK for a few years, and now we’re back in New York together. Our mutual love for camp, and working with kids and being outdoors is something that we both value. After spending a few years in the education world, I’m now part of camp full-time as the Staffing Director.
BEING A PART OF A CAMPER’S EXPERIENCE
I absolutely love watching the girls who were once my campers become counselors. I love watching kids who start out the summer very quiet and shy stand up on stage for a talent show. Or a kid who has never played baseball and gets to experience getting his first hit at camp. It is truly amazing the bonds that not only campers form with each other each summer, but also ones that counselors form with campers, and with each other. I have one of the best jobs because I get to talk to people about camp all day, and I get to share that experience with hundreds of people every summer.
DISCOVER CONFIDENCE, EMBRACE ACCEPTANCE
We have a motto at Camp Taconic, which is “Discover confidence, Embrace acceptance,” and I think that is really what we want for all campers, not just Taconic ones, and not just SCOPE campers. We want children to be able to go to camp and return home with more confidence than they started with.
LEARN IT’S OKAY TO FAIL
I want all campers to try new activities, foods, and have new experiences at camp that they wouldn’t otherwise have. And I also want them to know that with trying new things, comes failing, and it’s okay to fail, especially at camp, because you have a huge support system there to help you along the way.
SENSE OF SELF
I want all campers to embrace people of other cultures, races, religions, backgrounds etc. Learning about people who are different than you is how we grow as people, and camp is one of those places where you can be yourself, and it’s okay, and you’ll be accepted for who you are.
I think as a kid, I wasn’t aware of how lucky I was to be able to go to camp every summer. Most children who attend camp come from good families who are able to afford camp, and are also very involved with activities during the school year. SCOPE campers generally do not have the same opportunities to attend the after school programs or structured activities our campers do, which is why it’s vital that these kids are able to attend camp through SCOPE camperships. Now, as an adult, I recognize not only how fortunate I was, but I also want the campers at our camp to understand that.
I only found out about SCOPE a couple years ago, and it seemed like a no-brainer to get Camp Taconic involved somehow. In the summer of 2016, we had our first Stridese4SCOPE Walk-a-thon and raised over $28,000. It was such an easy concept, and our campers were excited to get involved in giving back, especially when it had to do something that they all loved, which is camp.
We had our second annual Walk-a-thon this past summer, and will continue to do so. In addition, we’ve gotten our oldest campers involved in the Junior Leadership Council, and some of our other campers are raising funds for SCOPE with their mitzvah projects. I think we’ve only just hit the tip of the iceberg, and my involvement, and Camp Taconic’s involvement will continue to grow. We are lucky to have such a strong relationship with SCOPE!