How old were you when you started Camp?
I was 9.
How were you introduced to Coniston?
Rolf Gesen told my parents about Coniston at our church in 1991. My brother attended first and then I started attending in 1993.
Did you attend college, and if so, what did you study?
Yes – I went to Fairfield University and earned a BA in psychology, Boston University for a MEd Masters of Education in School Counseling and Southern New Hampshire University for a CAGS Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Leadership.
What is your current job?
My current role is the District Director of Wellness and Equity for SAU67: Bow & Dunbarton schools. My job involves supporting systems intiatives focused on wellness and equity for our students, staff and our community. I organize professional development opportunities, student leadership trainings and wellness initatives throughout our district. I am responsible for expanding our Social Emotional Learning opportunities for our school district focusing not only on the mental health and wellness of our students but also our educators.
So many! People skills! Organization! I am incredibly grateful that there are at least 4 other people that I work with who attended Conistion, we all have things in common that I can attribute to skills we developed at camp. We are all able to make strong connections with others, see the big picture in situations and are creative and emotionally resilient. These skills that we learned as campers transfer seamlessly into our daily lives as educators.
So many! When I reflect on camp, which I often do, it is a time in my life that is protected in my mind. No one can touch it, no bad in the world can impact those memories and no one can take it away from me. When I am in a stressful situation, or time of life, I close my eyes and think of camp. I take a walking tour of camp in my brain and it calms me down immediately. The memories of soccer games on the A field, dances in the pavilion, sitting on the rock by the climbing tower, jumping off the diving board at G-fro, walking quietly to Vespers, and time on my bunk in my cabin are the small moments that literally give me goosebumps when I think about them as an adult.
After my CIT year in 2000, I took a step away from camp life for a while. I didnt go back in 2001 on staff so for many years I felt as though I wasnt “in camp” any more and that “other people” who were on staff were the ones who were able to maintain the connection to camp. I honestly didnt talk to many people from camp for a long time, except my childhood best friend who went to camp as well. Eventually, I had my own children and they were about old enough to start going to camp and I wanted them to have the experiences that I had. I took a risk and reached out to some old camp people and reached out to start attending events with camp people. Immediately the emotions I felt as a child camp flooding back into my life and for that I am forever grateful!