There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who went to camp and those who didn’t. Camp people can easily be detected in any room or situation. While there is not one specific defining feature, there are tell tale signs of a camp person. They’ve got confidence, they’ve got swagger, they’ve got creativity, they work well in groups, they are social, they never sing the right words to a song (because of course they are singing the camp version of said song), and the list goes on and on. When I met Lucas Brockner, my camp people radar was off the charts. This guy is the quintessential Camp Person… yes, capital C capital P. See for yourself. It’s likely there are going to be some LOLs and pangs of nostalgia walking down memory lane with our awesome Camper of the Week.
Where did you go to camp, how many years did you attend, how long was your camp session length?
Coed camp in Kintnersville, PA. 11 years (camper for 7 years, counselor for 4). 7 weeks (and some change)
Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?
Grew up in New Rochelle, NY (New Ro!). Live in NYC now.
What are you currently doing?
Graduated from the University of Michigan in 2012. I currently work at kbs+ (try to find me on the People page!) in the social media department with a focus on strategy and content development. Notable campaigns I’ve worked on include ideating around the #AmtrakResidency & #AmtrakLIVE (yes, I rode the train for 35 hours to Austin for SXSW and it was amazing!) campaigns earlier in 2014. More fun programs to come though…
How has camp influenced what you do/your career path?
As cheesey or fake as it may sound, camp truly influenced every decision I’ve made in my entire life. For example, I knew what college I wanted to go to (because of camp), what type of girl I wanted to date (maybe not the best way to determine things but it’s camp!), what characteristics I expect from a friend and from myself.
I was a Psychology major because I’ve always been interested in people; why they behave the way they do. As people are inherently social, I saw a great opportunity to jump into an industry that allowed me to be ambitious (something CAMP taught me) and do impactful work in a creative way early on in my career. It’s certainly been quite a ride ever since!
True Life – I Went to Sleepaway Camp
What are your top three essentials that you packed in your trunk?
Basketball shoes, Blue and yellow clothes (camp colors) and as much New Ro gear as possible (for trading at the end of the summer)
What are three words to describe your camp experience?
Genuine, Rowdy (respectfully), “ten-months-for-two” (is that 1 word?)
Who was someone at camp that you looked up to?
His name is Perry Finkel. It wasn’t until later on in my camp career that we became close but there really isn’t anyone as loyal of a friend as him. He’s been through so much and our bond at camp is something that has continued throughout the years that keeps us so close.
Why do you think it is important to go to camp?
Camp helps you grow into who you are. I always used to say that I was the best version of myself at camp because it just felt like a judgement-free zone where I can figure out the type of person I want to be. It’s that specific creative freedom that lead me to my current career path and I’m so thankful to my parents for allowing me that opportunity.
What is your favorite/most epic camp memory?
Most people from my camp will be mad at me for not saying Rope Burn but I think my favorite memory was when the owner of our camp told me I was going to be a Color War General. After my first summer at camp, I told one of my best friends at camp that by the time I finish my camp career, I’m going to be a Color War General so to have a goal like that actually come to fruition meant so much more to me in that moment.
How has camp affected your adult life? Is there something you learned there that you still do today?
Well, I certainly chant and clap a lot more than most adults do. On a more serious note, camp taught me the importance of being transparent with people. There’s no “fluff” (lame marketing term) at camp, it’s living with your friends and putting yourself in real situations that help you shape who you are today.
Words of wisdom for current and future campers?
I think this GIF sums it up well:
How do you keep in touch with your camp friends? What has kept you close through all of these years?
Long phone calls, texting, e-mails, sports trash talk (most are Philly sports fans which is practically my nightmare). I think of camp as the happiest place in the world. If you have people who share that experience/sentiment with you, why wouldn’t you want to keep in touch?
What is your favorite camp tradition?
Color War. Was this question even close?
What was your favorite camp food?
Chicken patties from like 2000-2004. 05-10, taco night made a HUGE push for the #1 spot.
What is your favorite camp cheer?
It’s time to get loud, it’s time to represent, [insert camp or team name] what time is it?! – Pretty generic but it’s near impossible not to get fired up after chanting that.
What is your favorite movie about camp/that you saw at camp?
Favorite movie about camp: Wet Hot American Summer – Paul Rudd’s most underrated role. Favorite movie I saw at camp: I didn’t hate Like Mike…like at all.
What did you prefer – pool or lake?
We had a great lake but I was purely a pool guy.
Favorite canteen candy?
Pretty cliché but watermelon sour patch is the best candy.
Favorite / most requested item on visiting day?
Blueberries and cherry coke (I’m not that normal as you may have already noticed)
What was your favorite camp activity?
Basketball. I made it to arts & crafts once in my 11 years per my mom’s demand. I ended up giving up a canteen item to a kid in return for a candle for me to give to my mom. He did a terrible job AND I lost a chipwich.
If you had to have something from camp tattooed on you, what would it be?
I’d get my color war shirt tattooed on my body so I always felt like a color war leader. Too much?
What is your favorite camp word/expression?
“No other camp”
Favorite camp memento?
Rope from rope burn
Did you ever get homesick at camp? How did you deal with that?
My 2nd summer weirdly enough. I wrote letters at night before bed asking my parents to take me home but was totally fine during the day. I saw them on visiting day and then I was completely fine for the rest of the summer and my camp career.
Any firsts at camp?
Went on my first rollercoaster on a trip at camp – I hated it but glad I tried it at least once to confirm that I hated it.
Follow Lucas on: Twitter: www.twitter.com/lbrockner3 & Instagram: www.instagram.com/lbrockner3
Lucas seems like a really cool guy! I wish I went to camp with him!
WOW !! i wish i was lucky enough to go to camp with Lucas ! He is the absolutely most fun !!! My summer camp in Michigan was pretty fabulous as well ( Camp Walden in Cheboygan,MI) – definitely could interview some people from my camp too !
Wow this was a really great interview, social media managing is something I’ve always wanted to do. That part you said about my brother was so sweet and very touching definitely an amazing interview !