Tag Archives: staffspotlight

Staff Spotlight: Will Borowka’s Guest Blog Post!

Will coaching apache.

Will coaching apache.

On the first day of college, I felt swallowed up and overwhelmed by the road ahead. Something felt strange. I had never before been in a community so populated, so large, yet despite this I had never felt so alone. Scrambling, I searched for familiarity and security.

Later, I sat in an orientation meeting about the “keys to success in college,” stuck somewhere between boredom and anxiety. Several students and faculty sat at a panel and told us Freshmen what they believed were the essentials to get the most out of college, and do well, academically and otherwise at Skidmore. Everything seemed generic, and started to sound the same. “Work hard. Balance your schedule. Try things new things. Make friends.” It all seemed easier said than done. In need of some fresh air, I snuck out from the room to read some of the “stoptime” stories which I had heard so often over my many years at Schodack. And in this moment, I realized that I was more prepared and confident for the path ahead than I was giving myself credit for.

Everything that was discussed in the meeting (and more), I had found at Schodack. Throughout my years at camp, I learned all the tools that I needed to be fine at school. Tribals taught me that competition can bring out my best, but only if I keep my head on straight. Campers’ Choices taught me independence, and how to think for myself. I learned to embrace my inner crazy as a Junior Camper, how to lead and when to be led as a Waiter, and how to speak up and support others through hard work and care as a Bunk Counselor. And, of course, I learned from the very start that there’s nothing out there better than Apache. Nothing.

But above all of this, I learned something new about myself every day at Schodack. Camp taught me to be myself, no matter who’s watching. Camp taught me to speak my mind, to show my true colors. Camp taught me that it’s okay to be different, to be whacky, to dress up and make believe. Without Schodack, I wouldn’t have learned about true friendship, the kind of friendship that’s on the phone with you at 1:00 AM on a moment’s notice when winter seems unbearable and you need a shoulder to lean on in the worst way. The kind of friendship that reassures you that before long, it will be summer, and joy, spontaneity, and calmness will be restored, friends will be together again, and everything will be good.

And then there I was again, back at college and out of my daydream. Eventually, the meeting ended, and so did orientation. Now, several months into school, I am still reminded of these values on a daily basis. Camp is an inseparable part of me. Schodack impacts every interaction, every thought, every decision I make, and I could not be more proud of it. The experiences I have shared at Schodack have been the most important, essential, and influential moments of my lifetime, and the tools acquired and lessons learned have prepared me for college in ways which no other chapter of my life has. And, inherently, it has provided me a home.

That is ultimately why Schodack has prepared me for a life in college. For as long as I can remember, Schodack has been my home, even when I couldn’t physically be there. Now, in a time when I need home more than ever, I know that I always have it, no matter the circumstance.

Staff Spotlight: Doug Herbst In His Community



We are very excited to share news about a wonderful project Doug has been working on within his community. As most of you know, in addition to being at camp for 20 summers, Doug spends his “off-season” as a full-time teacher at Medway Middle School in Medway, MA. Two years ago, Doug made contact with the “Lost Boys of Sudan” whose story of survival was made famous through the 2006 documentary, “God Grew Tired of Us.” Recognizing a rich learning opportunity for his students, Doug organized to have Machar Nai and Deng Jongkuch (two of the “Lost Boys”) visit his school and share their inspirational life story with students.



AR-150408452(Medway Sixth Graders with Machar Nai and Deng Jongkuch)


In addition to adding the “Lost Boys” story to Medway’s World History curriculum, Doug and his students have raised and donated over $3,000 to ImpactAVillage, a charity organization founded by Deng Jongkuch that helps build primary schools in Malek, South Sudan.


Click HERE to see the full article Doug wrote about this experience for a local newspaper.


We are very proud of this wonderful project and want to send big congratulations to Doug and his students at Medway Middle School!

Staff Spotlight: Andrew Lief’s Guest Blog Post!!




Growing up, I knew one weekend every summer I would be taking a trip up to camp with my parents (both Schodack alumni) and my sister, Brittney, for the annual alumni weekend. This was a trip that I always looked forward to.

This trip allowed me the opportunity to play any sport I wanted to and to be able to run around on what I thought was the biggest field of grass in the world (which I later learned was called Siberia).

Fast-forward to today, I am preparing for my 13th summer at camp after spending eight as a camper and four on staff. This summer, I will be one of the Leadership Trainee (LT) Coordinators and I could not be more excited.

I can’t wait to work side-by-side with Owen, Nisha, our tremendous staff (AB, Michael, Schechter, Jamie, Maya, Sydney) and all of the awesome LTs we will have this summer. We have a lot of fun things planned for this summer that will make it one that will truly be unforgettable!



(Left; a very young Andrew visiting camp for the first time)



(Right; Andrew working on the moves that would later make him an Ultra Leagues Legend)





Not only will working with this year’s LTs be awesome, but I also can’t wait to be on staff with the LTs from 2013.  I had the honor of being their counselor in 2013 and we had an incredible summer, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing them on staff this summer.

Of course, spending another summer with my sister is an added perk of coming back to camp that I will always cherish. You my dawg, Brittney.

Camp is approaching rapidly, so I’m looking forward to continuing to prep for this summer, but deep down inside I’m still that kid who has the desire to play any sport I want and run around in Siberia!

Can’t wait to see everyone in 105 days!