There are many well known reasons why people want to work as a staff member at summer camps for children. However, I don’t think I’ve ever been asked why I want to Direct the camp. I quite enjoy my job, even though I’ve been doing essentially the same thing for 15 years and there are a couple of things in particular that keep me enthusiastic about going to work each day.
I have personally conducted every interview of every staff member that has ever worked for Kettleby Valley. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. With all that work comes the real satisfaction about bringing a group of staff together each year. There is also the excitement some people show when they learn we have a job for them (followed by the natural let down when they hear what they’ll be paid for the summer) and the enthusiasm they have once the campers arrive for the first day of summer.
I also love watching the campers grow up seemingly in front of my eyes. Campers like Cassie, David, Katrina, Rebecca, Megan and Kaeleen were so small when they started at Kettleby Valley and this year, they’ll be senior campers. Some campers make wonderful staff members.I remember Chewy and Oakley and Franklin and Huck as campers – all of whom are doing a great job right now as spring staff.
Unlike myself, our staff move on and I love helping people in this process whenever I can. I receive dozens of requests each year for reference letters and many ask me to complete forms for teacher’s college and other post graduate programs. In almost every case, I’m happy to do it. And perhaps I’m a bit proud to know that the experience at camp has helped them in some way.
I have also loved watching our camp grow and improve each year. In the past six years our numbers have gone up by almost 80 percent. Our new cabins, dining hall, change rooms and pools have made a huge difference to the experience our campers have had. Over the years our spring staff have played a major role in these improvements and I hope they feel as proud as I do about the work that we’ve managed to accomplish.
There are things about my role I could live without. However these events are few and far between and get quickly pushed aside by all the great staff and parents and campers I see every day during the summer. When I yell ‘good morning’ each summer day, I have over 300 people yell the same thing right back at me and there aren’t many people who can make that claim.