Program Director Hayley Horton’s Pitcher Plant Research

We recently interviewed one of our 2022 Program Directors, Hayley Horton, who has been undertaking Biological research this summer in Camp Coniston’s very own bog. 

What’s your name, age, hometown, and what did you do at camp this summer?

Hi Coniston, my name is Hayley. I am 20 years old, this my 12th year at Coniston. I am from Chelmsford Massachusetts, and this past summer I was full-time Program Director and part-time bog researcher. 

What did your research entail?

The research I was working on this past summer was in collaboration with a professor at the University of Vermont, which I attend during the school year, specifically working with pitcher plants; they are one of two carnivorous plants found in the bog. What we were aiming to do is get preliminary data on how different antibiotics affect microbial communities within pitcher plants. 

Pitcher plants provide a very interesting mode of research; within the pitchers themselves are their own ecosystems that can be manipulated much easier than a full forest or full ocean when trying to manipulate with something like antibiotics. 

Coniston was one of three sites where research was being done this summer, and I was working with one of three different antibiotics that were being tested. We are hoping this data will lead to the discovery of which antibiotic should be used for a larger trial. Currently we are looking at the data to see the degree to which the microbial communities were knocked down, which microbes were affected and which were still present. 

As for the procedure I was actually conducting over the summer, every third morning for three weeks, I would go out into the bog and dose twenty plants (ten control and ten experimental) with either de-ionised water for the control plants, or with the antibiotic solution for the experimental plants. 

At the beginning and end of the experiment I took morphological measurements, basically physical measurements of the plant, measuring the entire circumference of the plant, from top to bottom and measuring pitcher opening. I also took fluid parameters to see the amount of dissolved oxygen, the temperature, and different traits of the liquid within the pitcher. At the end of the trial we wrapped up by taking that morphological and fluid data again, while also collecting fluid from each pitcher to be analysed in the lab. 

Where did your passion for Biology begin? 

I am currently a Biological Science major at the University of Vermont, and I can really trace that passion for Biology back to my time at Camp. I had always been interested in science at school, but found that at camp I had the space to really be inquisitive and connect closely with nature in a way that education doesn’t often provide. 

Through the Ecology programme area, I was encouraged and excited to be inquisitive and free to question and interact with the nature around me without any looming pressure of grades or deadlines. That really connected me to the field, and has led to where I am today. 

How has Coniston influenced your interest in this area? 

Specifically in the research I have been assisting with, Camp was a huge help in getting my foot in the door. This past year I took a class called ‘Ecology and Evolution’ with the professor I have been working with, and he talked about his past research, a lot of which was done with pitcher plants. Right off the bat, I was very interested given my connection with Camp and my interest in pitcher plants through the bog and through Ecology. 

When I was drafting my email to his asking if I could help with his research, I spoke about how I had learned a lot through this camp and grown a really hearty interest in the system that he was working with. I expressed that I had that hands-on knowledge that maybe other undergraduates wouldn’t have walking into his lab. I was really excited about the prospect of turning this childhood interest of mine into a college prospect. 

What were the most interesting discoveries you made whilst conducting your research this summer? 

The research has already yielded so many interesting discoveries, and will continue to as we analyze the data further, but I would like to focus on two interesting discoveries in particular:

Firstly, I was very interested to find just how alive the inner system of the pitcher plant was. I had never had the opportunity to remove the fluid from a pitcher and actually see what was going on inside; there was so much life which was really cool to see. This very acidic environment that basically acts as digestional fluid still had mosquito larva and flesh flies inside. On top of that, there’s an entire microbial community that is too microscopic to even see, but I knew I would be able to view the data once it had been sequenced. 

One of the more touching discoveries was seeing how excited campers got when seeing this research being done. I was not on Ecology staff this year, but I would hear about the bog walks they would do, and sometimes campers would seek me out after to ask me about my research. 2 campers in Session 1 were really interested to hear about every part of the process, and were so passionate in a way that I recognised in my younger self. It was so cool and very impactful for me to see the research I was doing ignite curiosity with these campers. 

What future plans do you have for this research? 

As for the future of this research, I am taking undergraduate research credits, and assisting with the analysis, planning and write-up for next steps of this project. We are hoping that the data will be solid and that we are able to propose and conduct a full-scale experiment to dig deeper with what we have already found. I, personally, am hoping to pursue an accelerated masters at UVM using this project as my thesis. 

How would you describe your overall experience of being a Coniston staff member this summer? 

Being on Coniston staff this summer was incredible. I felt very fortunate that I didn’t have to compromise both my future aspirations for my career and my current aspirations for camp. I was provided with the opportunity to do both at once. I feel so grateful that the staff and the campers at Camp welcomed my project with such open arms; the Camp director John Tilley was especially excited at the prospect of me doing this research and was so consistently interested in what I was doing, asking some really insightful questions. He was so excited to see what it provided for me as well as what it provided for the campers. 

As for my main job on Camp this summer, I was Program Director, who plans the evening programs and helps a lot with the camper scheduling, making sure the day-to-day fun at camp runs smoothly, including the wonderful programme areas such as Ecology. I loved my job this summer, and how much it allowed me to interact with the staff and how they were each running their own aspects of camp, making sure their little corners of the world ran smoothly, while also being able to plan these big evening events and see how much fun the entire camp had with an idea that Carolyn (my fellow Program Director) spent a lot of time planning. 

I feel so grateful to be both a research assistant this summer and spend the time in the bog, whilst also learning so much through my job as Program Director. There is a lot of overlap in these two jobs; I learned how to work with other people, I learned how to admit that I didn’t know how to do something, how to search for help in those areas. In so many ways these roles bolstered each other, allowing me to have a truly incredible summer. 

If you had a message for budding scientists who are thinking about coming to Coniston, what would it be?

If I could relay any message to budding young scientists who are thinking about coming to Coniston, I would first of all say do it! There are so many great opportunities to become independent, inquisitive, and confident person, all these things that will help you in any career. I would also encourage them to consider where they might find inspiration and opportunities for knowledge in potentially unexpected places. 

You may not think that coming to camp will lead to a scientific career; we focus a lot on fun and friendships and trying new things, which a lot of the time doesn’t seem to naturally pair with science’s pursuit of knowledge and procedure. However, in my experience the fun that I had at camp led me to want to continue having fun and learning through that fun. The friends I made at camp helped me to understand what I wanted out of life and my career, helping me every step of the way when it seemed scary to put myself out there. Trying new things is the root of science, and the root of becoming a person who is comfortable asking questions. Maybe you don’t see learning how to shoot an arrow as the same thing as being able to come up with a new scientific hypothesis, but it all feeds into building a well-rounded person that is capable of doing what the world of science requires in a way that feels fun and rewarding. 

I would encourage anyone to not just consider the traditional paths that might make preliminary sense in becoming a scientist. I didn’t have to attend a Math or Science Camp to get where I am today. I was able to use my experiences at Camp Coniston to find meaning in what I learned, and express that meaning to people who could provide me with opportunities. I am so excited for each and every camper to know that whatever you are interested in, be that the Sciences or Humanities, there is a lot of potential with coming to Camp and I wish them all the very best in their learning. 

Camp Winning Spirit celebrates 25+ years

This summer we celebrated 25+ years of Camp Winning Spirit!

Our annual Labor Day Weekend event, partnered with New Hampshire Childhood Cancer Lifeline, welcomed 28 families who have been affected by cancer. The weekend was full of classic Winning Spirit activities like kickball, pirate night, s’mores and campfire skits! 

On the Sunday, we invited Winning Spirit alumni families and staff to join us for a day of celebration. The day ended with a beautiful firework show to commemorate 25 + years of this special weekend and to honor all of the families that have attended.

Noah Kahan performs at Coniston

This summer, we were excited to have Noah Kahan, musician and Coniston alumnus, revisit Coniston and perform for our staff. He was welcomed back with open arms, and all staff were very excited to meet him and see him play live. 

American singer-songwriter Noah Kahan released his first single ‘Young Blood’ in 2017. Since then, his music career has taken off with Noah collaborating with artists such as George Ezra, James Bay and Dean Lewis. He released his first album ‘Busyhead’ in 2019, taking his music on a world tour in the same year. In 2021 Noah headlined his ‘I Am / I Was’ tour, and after releasing his latest song ‘Stick Season’ this year, Noah treated the crowds at Red Rocks to a powerful set showcasing his new music. 

Before his performance for our staff, Noah took a trip down memory lane, exploring the grounds, revisiting his old cabins and spending the last day of Session 2 with campers. Noah joined in on all the traditional closing night activities, including attending John Tilley’s vespers. He was particularly thrilled to walk down the staff trail to Boys Vespers. It was a magical moment when Noah joined us for dinner in the dining hall and the whole of Camp sang one of his songs at the top of their lungs! Noah even attended closing campfire and played guitar while campers sang. He also joined our staff in performing traditional Camp songs at our closing candlelight ceremony. 

Noah performed an acoustic set of his music, featuring songs such as ‘Stick Season’ and ‘Young Blood’, as well as treating the staff to a first performance of an unreleased song. Amidst his lakeside show, he invited staff member Grace Ferguson to join him onstage to sing Noah’s song ‘Hurt Somebody’ as a duet. This was a very special moment not only for Grace, who shares Noah’s passion for music, but for the entire camp, seeing alumni and current staff coming together and giving a heartfelt performance that was met with excited applause from other staff members. 

Noah’s passion for music was clear back when he was a camper from age 8 to 15 (2005-2012), as he often performed in our talent show. On his visit, he spoke about his experiences performing in the talent shows: “My first time I ever played an original song was at the talent show, and it was really cool ‘cause everyone here was super supportive of it… I got inspired to write more.” “I came second place every year to the kid who made car noises”. He was delighted to finally receive the 1st place award staff members had made for him, presenting it to him after his moving performance.

Noah’s music paired with the Coniston scenery created a truly spectacular experience for all, and we very much hope that Noah will be back. His career success is no surprise and we were very grateful he took the time to revisit us here at Camp.

Nicole Reiss-Brattle Book Shop Manager and Chair of ABAA Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair-Coniston: 1988-2002

How old were you when you started Camp?

I was 9 or 10!

How were you introduced to Coniston?

A family friend told us about it, but their child did not end up going. Luckily I had the opportunity and was at Coniston for 15 years.

Did you attend college, and if so, what did you study?

I went to Boston University and my major was Archaeology with a minor in Spanish.

What is your current job? 

I am the manager of the Brattle Book Shop in Boston, MA. It is one of the oldest and largest antiquarian book shops in America. I’m also the Chair of the ABAA Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair.

How has your career journey evolved?
 
I started at the Brattle in ’99- the autumn after graduation and I have been here ever since. The first few summers I took off from selling rare books and was Girls Camp Director.
 
Are there any skills or traits you gained at Coniston that you use in your professional life?
 

Being in leadership roles (’98 CIT Director, ’99 LIT Dir., Girls Camp Dir.) at Coniston helped me hone my management style. It is a lot easier to manage 8-10 book sellers than all of Girls Camp! 

I hire a lot of young folks who are looking for a job right out of school. If I see that they have camp experience on their resume, I usually set up an interview. I know they are flexible, can creatively problem solve, good dealing with all types of people, and can think on their feet.

Are there any specific memories from your time at Coniston that are still impactful to you?
 

I am still great friends with many of my fellow ’92 CITs and also a few other people that I was on staff with. They are “my people.” I’m so fortunate to have found such wonderful life-long friends at Coniston.

Nick Newberry-High School Science Teacher-Coniston: 2004-2022

How old were you when you started Camp?

I was 10 years old!

How were you introduced to Coniston?

Both of my parents went to summer camp and wanted me to have the summer camp experience, too; however, for various reasons attending either of the camps they had gone to as children wasn’t going to work. So, my mom turned to Google and started researching summer camps in New England. After extensive research, she landed on Coniston. When I came here as a camper for the first time I knew no one.

Did you attend college, and if so, what did you study?

Yes! I studied Biology and Environmental Science at the College of William & Mary!

What is your current job? 

I am a high school biology and environmental science teacher.

How has your career journey evolved?
 
Immediately after graduating undergrad, I took a summertime seasonal job in Fairbanks, Alaska working for the Department of Fish & Game studying migratory songbirds. This was only a temporary position so when it ended I returned home to Virginia to figure out my next steps. A call from a professor ended up leading to a full-time job as an environmental consultant at an engineering firm. That job exposed me to many different aspects of applied environmental science from wetland permitting to bat, bird, plant, and reptile surveys.
 
After nearly 3 years at that job, I decided to switch things up in order to work somewhere with a mission that aligned more with my values of working towards a better future for people and the planet. A conversation with a bird-watching mentor from my teenage years led to a job as an intern at the Highland School, an independent private school in Northern Virginia. During my intern year, I taught semester-long elective classes in marine biology and ecology and supported a teacher who was instructing virtually. Now, I am a full-time high school science teacher, teaching AP Environmental Science, Biology, Marine Biology, and Ecology.
 
Did Coniston influence your ability to create this journey?

 

Absolutely. I never had an interest (that I was aware of) in teaching. Truthfully, for a long time, I didn’t think all that highly of the career of teaching because of my perception of teachers as people who “couldn’t make it” in the “real world”, and because of the low pay. Because of that mentality and a focus on biological research while an undergraduate, I never took any classes in education, secondary or otherwise. When I threw myself into teaching I leaned on the only substantial experience I had working with kids, which was being a camp counselor at Coniston. I like to think that I teach like a camp counselor in that I try to do little things to keep life in the classroom light and fresh, and I tend to focus heavily on social-emotional education. The actual nuts and bolts of teaching, such as curriculum and lesson planning, I have been figuring out as I go. For the record, I now think teaching is an incredible career that can be incredibly difficult but also extremely rewarding.

I also believe that Coniston increased my willingness to take risks, like beginning a new career with close to zero preparation. As a 16-year-old at the CIT-led vespers, every CIT was tasked with sharing one sentence about how their time at camp had influenced them. The one sentence of wisdom that I shared was, “At camp I have learned to become comfortable going outside of my comfort zone”, meaning that taking big risks and jumping headfirst into the unknown was something that I felt more confident in doing. I strongly believe that this mentality developed at camp has played a large role in my career and life in general.

Are there any skills or traits you gained at Coniston that you use in your professional life?
 

Thinking on my feet! Expressing gratitude. Working with children. Collaboration. Being creative. Working while exhausted. Listening to and empathizing with others. Building relationships.

Are there any specific memories from your time at Coniston that are still impactful to you?
 

Thanks to the annual schedule of a teacher, I have been able to return to camp after a 7-year hiatus, so I have many fresh memories to pull from as well as older ones from my time as a cabin counselor. At this point, it’s easiest for me to identify what has been most impactful to me over the past two summers from my time working in the kitchen and as the camp naturalist since those experiences are freshest in my mind. For myself and many of my friends, the stress, isolation, and uncertainty of the pandemic caused me to become more reserved and withdrawn and dulled my social skills. Returning here to this environment of constant interaction with friendly, kind, and interesting people has helped me redevelop and build on atrophied interpersonal skills. 

My memories now are not so much specific big events, but a mosaic of smaller events and conversations with dozens of people on hundreds of occasions. That being said, there are some sunset paddles, reunions, and social events that I will remember for a long time. I also have loved sharing memories with others. This summer, for example, a former cabin counselor of mine from my last year as a camper, Steve Dacey, visited for an afternoon. I enjoyed sharing with him my memory of the overnight solo our cabin had on top of Penny Royal during the Perseid meteor shower and how I remember my cabinmates and myself being very open and vulnerable with each other.

Artist in Residence—Reflections from Evan Ruderman
























Reflections from our 2022 Artist in Residence, Evan… 

It was such an honor to come back and shoot these images. Going through everything gave me some time to reflect on how special camp has been in my life and how great it was to come back and try to show its magic through images. Super grateful for this opportunity and all that camp has done for me.

At the young age of 8 I began to spend my summers at Camp Coniston and didn’t stop for the next 12 years, transitioning from a camper to a counselor to a director. My time at camp taught me a lot about life, a lot about myself, sparked my love of the outdoors, introduced me to some of my biggest role models, and helped me make some of my best friends to this day. It’s hard to explain the magic of this place without simply experiencing it for yourself but having a chance to return to camp to try and convey its beauty and mission through photos was quite an honor. It’s safe to say I wouldn’t be where I am today without my many summers on this lake and to see so many kids sleeping under the stars and playing in the woods without phones or screens or the stresses of everyday life anywhere in sight left me feeling quite happy. Thank you Camp Coniston for bringing me out here to shoot photos and for the many years of good memories. 

Jen Whitman-Middle School Teacher-Coniston: 2003-2015

How old were you when you started Camp?

I was 12 when I first came to camp!

How were you introduced to Coniston?

My friend at school introduced me!

Did you attend college, and if so, what did you study?

For college, I went to Boston University and majored in mass communication and minored in psychology and education. For graduate school, I went to Wheelock College and got my masters in integrated elementary and special education.

What is your current job? 

I currently work at Kennedy Middle School in Natick, MA. I teach 6th grade English and social studies. I also coach track!

How has your career journey evolved?
 

I always knew that I wanted to work with kids and that there was a chance that I would become a teacher, but when I started college, I was planning on becoming a camp director. After college, I realized that teacher would be a better fit for me so that I could work directly with kids every day and I went back to school for my masters. I taught 5th grade English and social studies before moving up to 6th grade this year! But who knows, there’s still time for me to become a camp director one day!

Did Coniston influence your ability to create this journey?

 
Of course – in so many ways! At Coniston I got to work with so many amazing and talented people who inspired me to be better for my campers everyday. I learned to work as part of a team and that leading by example is the best way to lead. Most importantly, my campers helped me realize that I needed to do a job that involved working directly with kids because I was happiest when I was with them. I would not be as strong of a teacher today without camp.
 
Are there any skills or traits you gained at Coniston that you use in your professional life?
 
Definitely! Leading Adventure Camp and taking the WCITs out west taught me about responsibility, organization, planning, and so much more. I had to make sure that everyone had food to eat, had everything they needed, was safe, and was having a good time. It was hard work! I use the skills I built on those trips every day at school!

My experience working at camp has had a huge impact on my teaching style. I try to infuse my classroom environment and my lessons with the joy and support of camp. I put relationships first, both mine with my students and my students’ with each other, because once there is that close bond of trust, the serious learning and growing can start.
 
Are there any specific memories from your time at Coniston that are still impactful to you?
 
I will never forget the first Adventure Camp trip I lead! The only camping I had done before that trip was my cabin overnights. It poured for 2-3 days straight right when we left. We were soaked, our tents were soaked, and it was impossible to start a fire to cook anything to warm us up. I had to figure out how to solve all of our problems and make the most of our situation. By the end of our trip, because of everything we went through, our group became so close and it was hard for us to say goodbye to each other. Whenever anything challenging comes my way, I think of that trip, and I know I can handle anything!

Talia Ungarelli-Zookeeper, Gorilla and Carnivore Keeper/Trainer-Coniston: 2008-2020

How old were you when you started Camp?

I was 8 when I first came to Coniston.

How were you introduced to Coniston?

My family introduced me to Camp!

Did you attend college, and if so, what did you study?

I attended the University of Vermont and studied Animal Science with a focus on wildlife health and conservation.

What is your current job? 

I currently work for the Gladys Porter Zoo, as a Zookeeper – Gorilla and Carnivore Keeper/Trainer.

How has your career journey evolved?
 

I had the intentions of becoming a wildlife veterinarian but after an internship within a veterinary practice I discovered I wanted my approach to animal health to be preventative with a stronger focus on conservation. I was given the opportunity to explore and work in different zoo facilities through college classes and an internship program at ZooTampa at Lowery Park. Those experiences provided me with a strong foundation to enter my current job as a full zookeeper and trainer at the Gladys Porter Zoo.

Did Coniston influence your ability to create this journey?

 
Coniston most definitely influenced my ability to create this journey. Through being a camper and staff member, I was able to become not only a strong leader but play a supportive role in whatever group I found myself in. With these foundational skills I was able to work hard and prove myself as a valuable asset to the various teams I’ve worked on. Being a part of the Coniston summer staff I was able to set goals for myself to work towards on an individual level and I find myself still setting goals for myself throughout all of my endeavors.
 
Are there any specific memories from your time at Coniston that are still impactful to you?
 
Any and all of the moments that as a group or as an individual we were told to take a moment of pause and look around us. These moments were so special to me as a camper because I remember being filled with so much gratitude for being a part of a space so safe and accepting where I could grow as an individual. I appreciated these moments even more when I was able to share them with my campers. I believe these moments are still impactful because I find myself needing to pause and really take in the moment. In the hustle of the day, or in the middle of a difficult project at work it is easy to forget how lucky I am to be in a career doing what I love and forming relationships with endangered species.

Ben Mark-Director of Field Sales at Panorama Education-Coniston: 1999-2012

How old were you when you started Camp?

I was 12 when I started at Coniston. I went to Coniston from 1999-2002 as a camper, was a CIT in 2003, was a counselor from 2004-2008 and then came back in 2010 as a West Coast CIT Director, and for 2 weeks in 2012 as a West Coast CIT Trip Leader.

How were you introduced to Coniston?

My friend’s mom called my mom in the spring of 1999 and asked if I wanted to go to Coniston with him. I had gone to another overnight camp for two previous years, but the camp shutdown after the summer of 1998. My mom convinced me to try Coniston and the rest is history!

Did you attend college, and if so, what did you study?

I attended Denison University in Ohio and studied History and Communications.

What is your current job? 

I am the Director of Field Sales at Panorama Education.

What does your organization do? 

Panorama’s mission is to radically improve education for every student. We do that by ensuring that district leaders, school leaders, teachers and counselors have access to actionable data to support positive outcomes for students. School districts work with Panorama to better understand students’ social-emotional learning, student academic performance, school climate, family engagement and/or teacher/staff well-being. My team works to partner with the largest school districts and state departments across the country to broaden and deepen Panorama’s impact. 40 of the 100 largest school districts in the country currently use Panorama in their schools, which means they run Panorama surveys, look at results on Panorama’s interactive reporting platform and/or manage student interventions on Panorama’s intervention management platform called Student Success.

How has your career journey evolved?
 

I began my career as a teacher with Teach for America. After two years of teaching middle and high school students in Philadelphia, I spent the next five years bouncing around other student-facing roles. I worked at a mentoring non-profit and at two charter schools in the Boston area as a career coach and again as a high school teacher. Student-facing work was incredibly meaningful, but I often found myself exhausted and unsure as to whether I wanted a career in teaching or counseling. Going to Panorama and working in sales was a huge leap of faith. I figured it would keep me close enough to education given the company’s mission but would allow me to lean into more of my strengths and to enjoy more of a work-life balance. Six years later and I’m still at Panorama. We’ve grown from 40 to nearly 400 employees and I’ve gone from a sales rep to a sales manager to the director of my team. I can’t wait to see how Panorama and I grow into the future!

Have you met any Coniston connections on your career journey?
 

Wild enough, yes! I was the only Conistonian at Panorama when I joined. I’m now one of six. Alison Rowe, Francesca Grandonico and Jesse Larson all work on the sales team with me. Lauren Hickey works on our Client Experience team, and Elizabeth Good works on our People Team. Sometimes Panorama feels like one big program area!

Are there any skills or traits you gained at Coniston that you use in your professional life?
 

Camp taught me how to be creative, to show compassion for others and that a little kindness goes a long way. I try to bring creativity, compassion, and kindness to each day of work.

Are there any specific memories from your time at Coniston that are still impactful to you?
 

As a camper, a rainy day in 2001 sticks out. We were stuck inside our cabin when our counselor, Matt Bagley, told us to throw on rain gear and follow him. We went to the A Field and played whiffle ball in the pouring rain and had the best time. I learned that day that as a leader you should bring enthusiasm and joy to as many moments as you can, because others will follow you.

As a WCIT Director I remember a conversation with my co-director, Caitlin Elgert and our trip leader Rachel Foley. I wasn’t very outdoorsy – my greatest survival skill was finding us the nearest gas station. And so I was very self-deprecating about that. They pulled me aside and told me to be more confident in my abilities and that I was meant to be leading our CITs and that our CITs should know that, too. I think about that a lot as a leader of a team now. Even if my role sometimes feels too big for me, I lead with as much confidence in my abilities as I can. I learned that from Caitlin and Rachel.

Austin Turner-Account Executive at Ecodaptive-Coniston: 2002-2018

How old were you when you started Camp?

Age 8!

How were you introduced to Coniston?

My Dad worked there.

Did you attend college, and if so, what did you study?

Briefly. I studied Vessel Operations and Technology at Maine Maritime Academy, only for a semester.

What is your current job? 

I currently work as an Account Executive at Ecodaptive. 

How has your career journey evolved?
 
I’ve worked numerous jobs from bartender, landscaper, music venue manager, tugboat deckhand, solar panel sales rep, and almost anything else you can think of. Wouldn’t have done it any other way.
 
Did Coniston influence your ability to create this journey?
 
Coniston gave me the ability and confidence to continuously meet new people and build relationships that ultimately lead to a variety of opportunities.
 
Are there any skills or traits you gained at Coniston that you use in your professional life?
 
Empathy. Being aware and understanding what others may be feeling or thinking is a life skill that I find valuable everyday.
 
Are there any specific memories from your time at Coniston that are still impactful to you?
 
Ben Kamizar would not let us eat Chaco Tacos for dessert at lunch one day because he was allergic to peanuts. To this day…I’ve still never experienced a Chaco Taco.