Getting To Know Tammy Zornberg – Tour Director
Getting To Know Tammy Zornberg – Tour Director
As Tour Director, Tammy welcomes prospective campers and their families to Iroquois Springs, and helps to familiarize them with the facilities, the culture and the wide array of activities offered. As a mother with three sons at the camp, Tammy is able to offer invaluable insight while answering questions from parents who are in the final phase of selecting a sleepaway camp for their children.
When she is not on a tour, you can usually find her at the canteen, where all of our campers enjoy nightly social time together over snacks and drinks.
Tammy wears lots of hats, but is mostly known as “Tammy Tours.” Her passion for the camp shines through as she spends time with existing and future campers.
How many summers have you spent at Iroquois Springs, and what brought you here in the first place?
I am returning for my third summer at Iroquois Springs. Selecting a camp for my three (very different) boys was a big decision for me. I had a few select criteria which helped me narrow down my search, but I was still left with several camps. They all have pretty grounds, lakes, sports etc., so I had to find “the thing” that would make one camp in particular stand out from the rest. Ultimately, I chose Iroquois Springs because of the camp philosophy, the culture and the absolute passion of the people that run the camp. I found out very quickly after joining the staff that the passion that starts at the top, trickles all the way down to every staff me
What do you believe makes Iroquois Springs special for campers and staff?
First and foremost, the family environment that forms during orientation and sets the tone for the entire summer. The staff members become united, and in turn, we share that feeling of family throughout the entire summer with each other, and most importantly, the campers.
One of my favorite times of day is getting together for meals, especially dinner. In the mornings the bunks travel together to activities, but in the afternoon, the campers have the option of choosing the activities that they like best. While some of the campers travel together, it is rare for the entire bunk to choose the same activity. Even though the campers and staff rotate throughout the day, it’s nice to know that they end their day “b
reaking bread” together.
As I walk around during dinner, I listen to the stories being shared between friends. Whether the dining room is alive with chanting, or silent during Color War, the bonding that takes place over meals with your summer family is undeniable.
Please discuss briefly anything that you feel helps create a smooth mid-summer transition as partial summer campers leave and arrive.
One of the great benefits of giving tours is that I can ask questions to campers as we travel around camp. There are ALWAYS spontaneous questions that come from the parents/children who are looking at Iroquois Springs for the first time. Many prospective parents ask questions about the mid-summer transition.
The two most common questions are:
“Will my child be disrupted?” and “Will my child be able to make friends if he/she wasn’t here first session?”
The campers are the ones who truly make the transition seamless. They stand with their arms wrapped around each other, sharing their personal stories about how nervous they were on their first day, and explain how everyone made them feel so welcome.
Overall, I find that the counselors and campers are excited when new people come in. They shed a few tears as some of their friends leave, but they quickly get back into their routine with the campers that arrive mid-summer. It doesn’t take long for the bunk to feel like it has been together the entire summer. Regardless of whether the campers stay for the full summer, or just part of the summer, one thing is certain…they all develop strong bonds that last a lifetime.
How do you spend the 10 months waiting for camp to start?
When we arrive home from camp, the first thing that I do (after several loads of laundry) is take a yellow sticky pad and number them in descending order so that we always know exactly how many days until we get to return to Iroquois Springs.
Professionally, I am a home organizer. I get great satisfaction out of helping people create an organized home environment.
What are your hobbies?
Baking, reading and walking my dog
What are your favorite Iroquois Springs activities, events, traditions?
My favorite time of day is our morning lineups. I take turns going back and forth between the girls’ side and the boys’ side. While their delivery is different, their messages are basically the same. A quick review of the schedule for the day, a meaningful song – or a comical skit, all mixed in with a healthy dose of moral fiber by either Josh or Rosie. It sets the stage every single day with a sense of belonging.
Please share a fond memory or two about your time at Iroquois Springs (as a staff member, camper or both):
My fondest memories are the bittersweet tears, and incredibly tight hugs that I watch amongst the campers, the counselors, the adult staff, directors and owners as we light up the current calendar year by the lake and sing the alma mater on our last night together. Hearing stories of our summer together, with warm words of encouragement reminding us that while we are leaving each other for the next 10 months, these memories and bonds that we have created will keep us coming back summer after summer.