Alumni Spotlight: Hannah Slafsky-Alumni Relations and Giving Officer at St. Paul’s School-Coniston: 2000-2021

How old were you when you started Camp?

I was 9 years old when I started at Camp.

How were you introduced to Coniston?

I found out about Camp from my dad, Rolf- he is an alumni from the 70s and 80s.

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

I went to University of Richmond and double majored in International Studies and Spanish.

What is your current job? 

I work at St. Paul’s School as an Alumni Relations and Giving Officer. In this role I work closely with our volunteers, help plan events, and fundraise for the school at the Annual Giving Level.

How has your career journey evolved?
When I was first out of college, I worked at Tufts University in graduate admissions. After that, I came back to work at Coniston year round as the Director of Afterschool Programs, which included 5 sites at local elementary schools providing childcare for 200 kids every day. I left that role to take some time to stay home with my oldest son. When I returned to work I started at St. Paul’s as an Annual Giving Specialist, which eventually led to my current position.
What moment in your career are you most proud of?
Certainly one moment that comes to mind is working with the Afterschool Programs through the start of the pandemic. It was a really challenging time, and reopening sites required working closely with the state and schools, and being creative and willing to recreate our programs so they could run safely. All while I was pregnant and then with a newborn baby at home. I was proud of our staff and kids who were all able to adapt to the circumstances!
Did Coniston influence your ability to create this journey?
Coniston absolutely influenced my career journey. One thing that I’m always so grateful for is the wide exposure that I had to many different responsibilities in my jobs at camp: as cabin counselor, Middler Division Leader, Girls Camp Director and Afterschool. I was trusted with a lot more responsibility than many of my peers had at other summer jobs. I learned about everything at camp from multi-tasking, to leading a group, to budgeting, to hiring, and even implementing a new software. I’m so appreciative of the faith that camp had in me to learn and grow.
Are there any skills or traits you gained at Coniston that you use in your professional life?

I learned a lot about working with different groups of people while at camp. Starting as a camper sharing a cabin with new people I had never met to managing my staff at Afterschool. It taught me to see other people’s points of view, treat everyone with respect and celebrate our differences. This is a tremendous help in working with co-workers and alumni in my current role. I’m also frequently reminded of our check-in day trainings as I greet new people 🙂

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

Well certainly meeting my husband, Michael, is one- my two sons wouldn’t be here today without Coniston!
This isn’t a specific memory, but one thing that has surprised me is how the impact of Coniston in my life has continued to evolve even after my last summer. My husband and I have always had our Coniston friends from when we were campers and on staff, and for me camp was always a special connection I shared with my family too. But then, after I graduated from college and lived in Boston, Michael and I were connected to a whole other group of camp friends who were living nearby. And coming back to work year round at camp brought me closer to the office staff. Michael is now on the board of the Childhood Cancer Lifeline because of Camp Winning Spirit, which is held at Coniston every Labor Day Weekend. My parents have been helping to bring kids from the New American community here in Concord to camp every summer, and we’ve gotten to know some wonderful kids through that. And now, we’re eagerly awaiting Summer 2029 when we get to be Coniston Parents for the first time! So, never assume you’ve seen the end of the impact of camp in your life; you never know what’s around the corner!