Camper to Counselor

Summers at Iroquois Springs are the wonderful coming together of exceptional staff, amazing campers, exciting programming and state of the art facilities.  The perfect recipe for a camp family to grow, achieve, have fun, and build memories and friendships that last a lifetime.

Just as everyone at home is starting to get ready for the upcoming camp season, the office is also busy working on new projects, program activities, and filling the remaining staff positions with outstanding people.  Campers will be excited to see many returning staff members, as well as the addition of first timers who will further enrich the camp experience.

Some of these returning staff and first-timers, making their imprint as “difference makers”, are a group that we hold near and dear to our hearts…they are former Iroquois Springs campers.  These inspiring young leaders, who have transitioned from camper to counselor, have so much to offer to the camp community.

Who better to create an atmosphere of spirit and adventure than camp veterans who have lived it, and understand the positive impact a camp experience can have on a young person’s life?  They are ready to lead, problem solve, inspire, empathize and motivate.  Former campers understand, first hand, the feelings that go along with being a camper, and strive to guide current campers to enjoy the same incredible camp experience.  They have had camp counselors who positively impacted their lives, and do their best to emulate these role models. Former campers are familiar with the facilities, activities, songs, traditions and importance of camp friendships. They naturally have a lot to learn in this new role, but they take it on with determination, heart, and unstoppable spirit.

Emily Bright, who is starting her journey as camp counselor, and Lukas Eade, who is returning for his third summer, are two former IS campers who will be “difference makers” for summer 2018.  Here is what they had to say:

Emily – “Albeit rare, it is true that the memories of sleepaway camp do not have to be confined to childhood. This summer, I have the privilege to work at Camp Iroquois Springs, returning for my 8th summer back at home. Ever since I was young, I dreamt of becoming a counselor, serving as a role model for the younger girls who I love. I want to create an environment of compassion and sisterhood to campers because I want to share and pass on my positive experiences I encountered at Iroquois Springs. I believe that being a camper counselor gives me insight into the feelings and thoughts of the campers, since I was once in their shoes. Going to camp can be difficult, whether it be making new friends, facing a new environment for the first time, or challenging yourself to go out of your comfort zone. I am looking forward to cherishing the happy moments with my campers and friends while being a support system of confidence and positivity. I will also be able to spread excitement about various activities, such as Rope Burn, Big and Little Nights, Color War, and even Rainy Day Activities, ones that I always looked forward to as a camper. I cannot wait to embark on my new journey and perspective at Iroquois Springs, and I am determined to use my experiences and memories as a camper counselor to create the best six weeks possible.”

Lukas – “Growing up as a camper, I always wanted to become a counselor so getting accepted to be a counselor after the gap year was incredibly exciting but also pretty nerve-racking. Although I had the experience of being a CIT, I truly had no idea what to expect. Arriving there for the first day of orientation was a big shock to me because I never realized how many counselors there were while I was a camper. I remember hanging out with the other camper-counselors who had been in the same bunk with me for the past summers while also trying to branch out and meet all the new people. Once camp started, everything hit hyper-speed, and I was lucky enough to have a couple of returning counselors in my bunk and a great group leader that helped guide me along with the transition. I knew that as a first-year counselor I would make mistakes but I realized that as long as I put my best foot forward and learned quickly from those mistakes, I would be able to become a successful counselor. I also knew that my experience as a camper would help me in certain situations like dealing with homesickness because I had been through it before. I think the main thing that I took away from my first summer as a counselor was that going into any new situation, it is important to rely on those who have been there before and to ask questions, but to also trust your own intuition and to rely on yourself as well. I came back for a second year as a counselor last summer and I was one of two returning counselors in the bunk. Joe and I, being the returners, took the leadership roles in the bunk and helped the first-time counselors adjust. This to me, felt like the completion of the transition from camper, to camper-counselor, to now just counselor”.

Get ready for an amazing summer, with exceptional staff (returning and new), of unforgettable memories, fun, and friendship!  Iroquois Springs is lucky to have such a wonderful group of “difference makers”!