Getting To Know Colin Hamilton – Assistant Program Director
As the Assistant Program Director at Iroquois Springs, Colin works alongside the Program Director to ensure that campers are engaged and having fun at the various activities offered. Colin’s main focus is on evening activities and special events.
How many summers have you spent at Iroquois Springs, and what brought you there in the first place?
This year will be my 14th consecutive summer. I’m one of the “founding family members,” having been at Iroquois Springs since the beginning. I grew up at camp (but not in the USA). I was a Boy Scout most of my life and I’ve pretty much always been involved in the great outdoors in one way or another. My high school physical education teacher worked at the camp years ago (before it was called Iroquois Springs) and recommended me for a job to the old owners. As it turned out, I was too young to get the visa so I applied the following year and requested that the agency send my application to the new owners. As the saying goes, the rest is history!
What was your childhood camp experience like?
Amazing! However, it was very different from life at Iroquois Springs. Most of the time, we slept in tents and cooked our own meals over open fires. Our “toilet” was a hole in the ground and our “shower” came courtesy a hosepipe punched with holes. It was very rustic to say the least. The activities were pretty much all outdoors based: climbing, canoeing, raft building, survival skills, pioneering, fire building, camping, hill-walking and so on.
What do you believe makes Iroquois Springs special for campers and staff?
First and foremost – the people. Every member of the Iroquois Springs staff continually goes above and beyond to benefit the campers. It starts at the top with the leadership team, and includes everyone from the counselors in the bunks to the staff in the office, kitchen and health center. Iroquois Springs is a great place for campers and staff alike to meet new people, make life long friends and develop both personally and professionally.
Secondly, I would have to say the environment. The facilities at Iroquois Springs are second to none. This opinion is not just based on my personal camp experience as a kid. I’ve also had the opportunity to visit many other camps through my work with international staffing agencies, and I can honestly say that Iroquois Springs is one of the best out there. From the bunks the campers live in to the wide range of diverse activities that the campers can choose from, this camp is a truly an amazing place to spend your summer!
What do you feel helps to create a smooth mid-summer transition as partial summer campers leave and new campers arrive?
Having staff members waiting for the busses to arrive with the new campers definitely helps. The staff does an excellent job of creating an exciting atmosphere. It also helps to have staff traveling with the kids on the busses so they get the feeling that camp has begun as soon as the bus pulls away. The opening campfire is also helpful because everyone together as a group. This gives the existing campers and those just arriving the chance to get to know each other.
How do you spend the 10 months waiting for camp to start?
I’m a High School Design & Technology Teacher in Scotland. I started off as an Engineering student at University, but by the time I graduated (after spending a few summers at camp), I soon realized that teaching was my real passion in life so I switched careers. I can honestly say that camp has changed my life!
What are your hobbies?
I love to travel, meet new people and explore new places. I’m a bit of a geek and love anything to do with technology, computers, and creating/building/fixing things. I’ve practiced Martial Arts for well over 15 years (although not as much these days as I used too), and I also love watching movies.
What are your favorite Iroquois Springs activities, events, traditions?
Activities: Hobbyville & Outdoor Adventure
Events: Mock Rock, Tribals/Color War
Traditions: Burning of the year & opening campfires
Please share a fond memory or two about your time at Iroquois Springs:
In my second year of camp, back in 2002, I was asked to help coach the boys’ rope burn team. I didn’t realize at the time just how big a deal rope burn was (even though it was my 2nd year at camp). It was a real honor to even be asked to be involved. Putting my Boy Scout skills to good use, I passed along my knowledge about fire building to my campers. They put into practice what I taught them and absolutely smashed the record (which had been running since the previous camp had opened many years before). The look of joy and happiness on my campers’ faces when the realized they had won is something I will never ever forget!