Her name is Hallie, YEAH… and she’s one of our Campbassadors! Basically the coolest job ever… she’s like our specialist counselor! Campbassadors are our version of brand ambassadors – they are our network of Summer 365 supporters and fellow camp-obsessed former campers who want to spread the summer love! Our Campbassadors help promote our free advisory service and help engage families in their local communities. And, most importantly, they are dedicated to joining in our mission of giving the gift of summer camp to children. They are campers-at-heart themselves, and we are so happy to introduce you to them!
Hallie grew up going to her 8-week (true 8 weeks!), all-girls camp in the Berkshires for 9 years – 7 as a camper and 2 as a counselor – so she was so excited to join our Campbassador team! She grew up in Chappaqua, NY, and now lives in Philadelphia, PA. We love her and we love that she is extending our network of camp-obsessed kids and families! If you are in the Philly area, reach out to her and learn a little more about Summer 365, and she will be excited to chat with you about her passion: CAMP!
What are you currently doing (work, school, etc…please give us a description and include any website links)?
I am a stay at home mom to my delicious, adorable, sweet and also wild and exhausting 3 sons. I am also a licensed mental health counselor and I recently joined Summer 365 as a Campbassador!!!
How has camp influenced what you do/your career path?
I always wanted to work with people (hence my degree in counseling) and camp has always been my passion…so the Campbassador role is PERFECT for me! Camp helped to make me who I am today and I have always wanted to help give others the gift of camp!
What are your top three essentials that you packed in your trunk?
Awesome stationary (I wrote home EVERY day EVERY summer!), sharpie, plain white Hanes undershirts (for decorating of course!)
What are three words to describe your camp experience?
Unforgettable, life-altering, magical.
Who was someone at camp that you looked up to?
Our counselors…not only were they so fun and cool (they had been campers too!), but also they were always there for us.
Why do you think it is important to go to camp?
At camp you get to learn who you are and you get to be YOU. From a young age you have to learn to find your voice, to put trust in others and to trust yourself, to be confident in who you are, and to be independent. Camp teaches you about friendship and how to live amongst others. I remember freshmen year in college talking with others who had also been fortunate enough to experience sleepaway camp…we felt prepared and better equipped for college because we had already had a trial run at camp!
What is your favorite camp memory?
Way too many to name just one…jumping in the lake with my bunk after burning the rope at apache relay; getting off the bus the first day of camp and running in to the bunk to be reunited with everyone; raiding the kitchen!!!; being named lieutenant and captain for Olympics; tying ourselves to each other the last day of camp to avoid having to leave; escaping to the reservoir; hearing my name called for a phonecall; Sunday morning buffets; leading camp fires; hanging in the bunk with my best friends in the world (and I could go on forever!)
How has camp affected your adult life? Is there something you learned there that you still do today?
My best friends are my camp friends, I truly mean it. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t talk to at least one camp friend, if not multiple. They have helped to shape the person I am today. They have taught me the meaning of true friendship. We have been together for the best moments of our lives and the worst moments. Through all the ups and downs life has thrown us so far and through the challenges some of our friendships have endured, we are still standing strong as best friends because the bonds that we formed can’t be broken. True love and friendship truly can stand any test.
Words of wisdom for current and future campers?
Live in the moment and enjoy it all…it goes WAY TOO FAST (I would do ANYTHING to be back at camp right now!)
How do you keep in touch with your camp friends? What has kept you close through all of these years?
We have a Google group that we email through every single day. This summer is our 20th reunion and many of us will be returning. I have been back to camp every single summer since I was there as a camper/counselor – I haven’t missed a summer. Whether we see each other everyday or there are months in between, we can pick up as if we were just together. We get each other. We listen to each other. We respect each other. We KNOW how lucky we are to all still be the best of friends.
What is your favorite camp tradition?
Friends and pals at the end of every evening activity.
What was your favorite camp food?
Rice krispie treats, blondies, m&m cookies (in case you didn’t notice, I have a sweet tooth).
What is your favorite movie about camp/that you saw at camp?
Indian Summer… rumor had it they looked at our camp to film the movie, but it didn’t happen.
What did you prefer – pool or lake?
Lake! We didn’t have a pool, but my vote would still be lake.
Sports or arts?
Favorite / most requested item on visiting day?
Candy and Pringles.
What was your favorite camp activity?
Tennis and hanging in the bunk on rainy days!
If you had to have something from camp tattooed on you, what would it be?
RR ’94 (RR stands for Romrec, the name of the oldest division at camp, ’94 the year I was in Romrec).
What is your favorite camp word/expression?
All for one and one for all!
Favorite camp memento?
The t-shirts we made for our first day as Romrec ’94.
Did you ever get homesick at camp? How did you deal with that?
Yes. I particularly got homesick when I got a phone call from my parents at camp or when my parents left on visiting day…I LOVED camp, but there was something about hearing their voice or seeing them walk away that still to this day could make me choke up. I let myself be sad for a few minutes and then looked around and realized I was in the best place on earth!
What were the biggest trends/must have items when you went to camp?
This is really dating myself…kaboodles, keds (the whiter the better), z cavariccis, scrunchies, slouchy socks.
Any firsts at camp (ie waterskiing, kiss, archery)?
Of course! My first kiss happened at camp, unfortunately for me, his older sister was at camp with us and that made for quite an embarrassing moment for me in the dining hall the next day.