Monthly Archives: March 2017

Guest Blog Post: Julia Friedman – From Camper To Counselor

As I’m entering my fifth summer at Camp Schodack, it’s hard to believe that I was a camper for only four summers. On my first day of camp, I walked into a bunk of girls who had practically grown up at camp. They knew everything there was to know, whereas my only knowledge of Schodack consisted of some random broken green and white arrow framed in my living room. I had grown up hearing stories about Schodack from my dad and uncle but in 2013, I was ready to form my own memories.

On the ride up, everything was a blur. I was worried about whether or not I’d make friends, if I had all the things I needed, who I would bunk with, and most importantly, if I would make do with the endless dining hall options.  As soon as I stepped off the bus, it all fell into place. My ears filled with the cheers of campers and staff who were as excited as I was to start off the second half of the summer. My concerns of finding friends disappeared as soon as the girls in my bunk bombarded me with hugs as if I had known them my entire life. My first day flew by with swim tests, lice checks, yearbook pictures, and the counselor show. By the time I crawled into my bottom bunk of G4b that night, I knew I was home.

Julia on Visiting Day when she was younger!

My summers at Schodack had been filled with “firsts.”  From learning stacking games to winning triple crown events, the “firsts” seemed endless. With camp drawing closer and closer, I am constantly thinking of all the “firsts” that will take place this summer. Meeting my bunk for the first time and watching all the instant friendships form. Writing Triple Crown scripts for my campers for the first time. Being able to participate in the counselor show that I so excitedly watched for my first night activity as a camper.

 

Julia with her friends during a LT Challenge Day last summer!

In my new role as a counselor this year, I’m so excited to have the chance to do whatever I can to ensure that my campers have as incredible of an experience as I did. I’ll be thinking of all the meaningful moments and role models that I had throughout my summers, and will try to pass on the amazing memories that I had to my own campers. Schodack  is a magical place and I see it as my job to ensure that my campers experience the magic that I still see every day.

 

 

What’s so special about the magic of camp is how something that might seem imperfect at home, takes on a whole new meaning. The downpour that you would watch from your couch at home is turned into a chance to run through the rain, laughing with your best friends. Serving meals to the entire camp in the dark with no utensils for Medieval Night is not as crazy as it really sounds. Staying up until the morning writing scripts for triple crown is what you wish you were doing while staying up studying for midterms during the year. The list is endless.

Camp is almost 100 days away, and I know you’ll all be able to feel this magic and see exactly what I mean.  

Head-Staff Spotlight: Jamie Weiss!

Since I was eight years old, almost every part of my life has been influenced by camp. Even as I’m writing this, my “Camp Schodack” playlist is playing softly in the background. It has over 150 songs – BPNs, alma maters, third camper’s choice tracks – and it is the culmination of the past 14 years of my life. I know that I’ll never be able to fully convey what camp means to me but I can tell you why I keep coming back.

I keep going back to camp because it is my home. Not only is it my home, but it was home to my father, my aunt, my cousins, and my sister. Schodack is where I learned to swim, ride a bike, take a five-minute shower, and stand on the Dining Hall roof in front of over 300 people and feel completely at ease. Schodack is where I learned to be a team player, a leader, and a friend.

I keep going back to camp because whether I’ve known them since 2004 or since just last year, my camp friends are the most important people in my life. The impact they have had on me in such a short amount of time is astounding. Truly, my words fail when I try and explain how grateful I am to Schodack for putting this group of people in my life. For lack of a better phrase, camp friends just “get it”. Whether that is in the form of a 3 a.m text in the dead of winter about a talent show idea or just sitting in plastic chairs at the canteen area eating gummy bears realizing that life simply cannot get any better.

I keep coming back to camp because over the past six summers that I’ve been on staff I have watched my campers grow up. This has been the most rewarding experience – one that has had a fundamental impact on my life. I have seen them conquer the climbing tower and I have seen them get into college. These young men and women who entered my life when I was 16 years old are some of the most intelligent, kind-hearted and hilarious individuals that I have ever met.

Things have changed tremendously over the past 14 years. I’ve gone from being a CIT to being in charge of the CITS, having my senior campers have their own senior campers and I’ve seen the counselors who I had when I was in junior camp with their children who are now old enough to be junior campers themselves. I guess all that’s left to say is that in 30 years I know that I’ll look back on my experience at Schodack and be able to say that I (Seminole) Let The Good Times Roll!