Why do you think an FLC experience is an invaluable experience for young people? Why would you encourage others to attend FLC? What stands out to you about the FLC way of life?
In a chapel speech a few years ago, Megan Cullen said something along the lines of, “You never again will be surrounded by so many people who care so deeply and genuinely about how you are doing or how your day is going.”” At FLC the intimate size of the community and welcoming and warm nature of the staff make campers feel comfortable and cared for. Through this experience and the example set by their counselors, campers learn how to be kind, caring, and attentive themselves. They learn how to take time out of their day to support their peers and in turn build strong relationships. This is the FLC way of life. Practicing this way of life outside of camp has helped me build empathy and strengthen my relationships with friends and family.
What are some of the lessons you work to instill in the lives of FLC’s campers?
During activities, meals, cabin time, and open time, I work to instill values of communication, respect, attentiveness, open-mindedness, leading by example, advocating for yourself, self care, and empathy in the lives of FLC campers. Every summer my understanding of these values deepens through conversations I have with campers — I learn as much from them as I hope they learn from me!
This past summer I watched an empowering video about social media with the entire senior girls’ camp and listened to Cascade camper Lula Konner read an original poem entitled “I come from…” The girls engaged in a self-driven discussion about social media and the importance of being open minded and embracing imperfection. I was blown away by the insight they brought to the discussion and learned valuable lessons from them that I worked to instill in the lives of other campers throughout the summer.
How about the staff, what do you strive to impart in their experience?
I strive to instill similar values in the staff — particularly communication! Communication encompasses all of the values mentioned above. If staff can effectively communicate to others, they can better advocate for themselves and pass on values like respect and empathy to their campers.
What images of camp do you hold near and dear to you during the winter months away?
During the winter months my walls are covered with photos from camp, but I also hold mental images near and dear to me wherever I go — particularly the views from lookout, chapel, big rocks, and the girls’ office window. There is nothing I love more than admiring the Adirondack sky!
What do you personally value about your role at FLC?
In my role I get to work closely with everyone at camp. I meet with and eat with the administrative team several times a day and engage with campers during announcements, sign ups, activity periods, and open time. Building relationships with so many individuals — campers and staff alike — has opened me up to new perspectives and makes my job particularly exciting!
How have you grown as a leader through your experience as a head counselor?
Working on a team has helped me grow as a leader in many different ways as I am constantly inspired by the other leaders I work with! To name a few, I’ve learned about advocating for myself from Lilly, letting things go from Gene (“onwards and upwards!”), communication from Cait, patience from Brenda, positivity from JC, attentiveness from Uncle Paul, living in the present from Aaron, team work from Dan, and how to balance the silly and serious from Jamie. As a head counselor I have also learned to trust myself, trust others, and evaluate the many sides to every situation with an open mind.