How did you originally hear about Forest Lake Camp? I first found out about Forest Lake Camp during an exhaustive internet search for a summer wilderness program. Coincidentally, after I had been hired I realized that a good family friend had gone to FLC as a camper and worked as the waterfront director for many years in the 1980’s.
What are you most excited by with your new position within FLC’s Wilderness Program? I’m most eager to spend more of my time in the backcountry with the campers. Camp is super fun because there are always a thousand different activities to do at any given time. Getting out of camp and into nature allows campers to slow down for a few days. It allows for more time to appreciate your friends, your experiences at FLC, and the natural beauty that is constantly surrounding you.
If there is any one thing you can teach your campers this summer, what would it be? The biggest lesson that I want to instill in every camper this summer is have fun and be yourself.
If there is any one thing you hope to impart on FLC’s wilderness staff this summer, what would it be? I hope that the wilderness staff leave summer 2017 with a strong connection to their campers, fellow counselors, and to the mountains that surround us.
Why do you feel FLC’s wilderness program is an asset to FLC? FLC is tucked away in largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States. The Adirondack park is greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Park combined! The wilderness program allows campers from around the world to experience the beauty of this hidden gem in upstate NY. The program also gives kids an opportunity to experience hiking, canoeing, backpacking, or rock climbing for the first time ever.
What is your favorite outdoor recreational activity? Why? This is a super hard question to answer. I truly love any experience I have outside from a casual stroll in a local park to a month long mountaineering expedition in the North Cascade mountains. If I was truly pressed for a singular answer, I would say backpacking or skiing depending on the season.
Please share with us your personal philosophy on outdoor education/adventure and your background and connection to the outdoors.
“Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world.” – David McCullough Jr.
This is one of my favorite quotes that embodies how I feel about the outdoors. Climbing mountains is not about conquering nature or bragging about your accomplishments. It’s not a self centered experience. Being outside is about experiencing the majesty of the natural world with a community of people. I think this type of environment allows for deep personal growth and meaningful connections between people.
I grew up in the mid-sized town of Ithaca, NY about four hours southwest of Forest Lake Camp. I had the good fortune of hiking in the gorges and boating on Cayuga lake as a child. It wasn’t until my gap year between highschool and college that I truly experienced the wilderness for an extended amount of time. I went on a 30 day sea kayaking trip and and a 35 day mountaineering trips with the National Outdoor Leadership School in the pacific northwest region. Since that experience I’ve always known that I wanted to be involved with outdoor education. Today, I lead hiking, canoeing, and backpacking trips for my university’s outdoor program.