Staff in the Spotlight

Getting to Know Ako Matsumura

Name: Ako Matsumura

Where are you fromOxford, MS (but I grew up in NJ)

Years at I.S.: 1

Why did you decide to work at camp this summer?
I decided to work at Iroquois Springs this summer because I wanted to challenge myself by working at a sleep-away camp. I grew up going to camp and have always enjoyed going to camp and want to help create an environment where campers and staff can look back at their camp experience and think of all the fun that they had at camp.  

What are you looking to learn this summer from being a counselor?
As a counselor, I hope to learn about ways to improve on my strengths and recognize my weaknesses that I may have, as well as acting serious when I need to, but to also remember to have fun once in a while. Camp is a place where everyone, no matter how old they are can act like a kid for a couple of months. While counselors and staff members have the responsibility of looking after campers, they are allowed to be silly and have fun, which is something that I think is lost as we grow older.

How are you looking to impact your children this summer?
I want to create an environment where my campers know each other’s names and have genuine conversations with each other as well as learn new skills and get out of their comfort zones. Camp is a place where new and old skills are learned, taught and grow through the activities and bonding that occurs at camp. I hope to learn from my campers as well because I believe that children offer a lot more to the world than adults give them credit for and understand things that may be seen as complex in the eyes of adults.  

How are you feeling about the summer?
I am definitely nervous and excited at the same time, which is an interesting feeling. I’m nervous because I haven’t been to a sleep-away camp in about 5 years and the newness of everything, from the environment to the people can be nerve wracking for me. I am also excited because I get to push myself out of my comfort zone by meeting new people and getting to know their perspectives and how they look at the world.

Tell us an interesting fact/story about yourself?
I enjoy running (for fun).