Getting To Know Paul Titley – Boys Group Leader
How many summers have you spent at Iroquois Springs, and what brought you here in the first place?
I started at Iroquois Springs in 2008. Back then, I was a competitive swimmer rehabbing an injury. I decided that I needed to get out of England to take my mind off of things and to look for new and exciting opportunities. I’ve grown into my role over the past six summers. Before becoming a Group Leader, I was a Swim Teacher/Lifeguard and also the Assistant Aquatic Director.
What do you believe makes Iroquois Springs special for campers and staff?
Camp is a melting pot of people from all over the world that come from different walks of life. The staff members are all passionate about working with kids and ensuring that each camper has a great summer. This mindset trickles down from the very top. When you are in this environment, it’s hard for you not to enjoy yourself and make new friends. Ultimately, you end up learning new things about yourself by constantly stepping outside of your comfort zone. This happens for staff members and campers alike.
How do you spend the 10 months waiting for camp to start?
I would say that it has actually been the LONGEST 10 months ever in the past six years. In fact, I would even go as far to say that every year, the buildup to camp gets more exciting, which makes the wait that much more agonizing. For my first four years at camp, I was spending much of the 10 months at school studying. However, in the last two years, I have been lucky enough to travel to many countries including Australia,New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia and Egypt. It’s safe to say that I’ve been pretty lucky! I’m always pretty anxious to get back to camp, so I have shortened the waiting time over the past two years by coming early to help out at pre-camp, and staying all the way through October for post-camp.
What are your hobbies?
I’ve always been a pretty active individual, enjoying a wide range of sports including: rugby, tennis, fitness and all kinds of water sports. Although I had to give up competitive swimming after many years due to injury, I have continued to play water polo for the last several years. Outside of sports, I love to travel, hang out and catch up with friends.
What are your favorite Iroquois Springs activities, events, traditions?
I really can’t get enough of camp and the vast variety of activities we have to offer. I envy all of the campers that get to come to camp and experience it all first hand, so I make sure to get around to every single activity area at least once a summer. One of my favorite events is the annual rope burn. It is filled with intensity and passion, and the camaraderie displayed by the participants is incredible. Another one of my favorites, Inter Boys Glow Launch Night, started just last summer. We launched glow sticks and UV lights in to the night sky with rockets and balloons.
Please share a fond memory or two about your time at Iroquois Springs:
There are just so many memories that run through my mind. I think that is the true value of camp is the richness of the overall experience and the lifelong memories that are created and shared with camp friends.
However, one memory that stands out took place in my first year of camp. I participated in a night raid to the canteen with my Junior bunk and Gary Ross, who was my Group Leader at the time.
Within minutes of leaving the bunk for the raid, I witnessed Gary commando rolling, army crawling and scaling the sides of buildings as my bunk, my co-counselors and I timidly followed him. It wasn’t long before we all joined in with our own “G.I. Joe” moves. It was great to see the more quiet and timid campers transforming into superhero-like beings. It is something that those campers and I have talked about every summer since, and I’m sure that it will stick in my mind for many years to come.