In the camp world, running out of socks before the end of the summer is practically guaranteed. Good thing we found David Heath, the CEO and Co-Founder of Bombas, a line of athletic-leisure socks, re-engineered to look better, feel better and with a mission to help those in need, to be Camper of the Week right before the start of camp! Dave attended camp for 10 summers and not only believes camp is the most important experience a kid can have but also attributes his experience to certain design aspects he built into his innovative sock line. Similar to how we run out of socks at camp, homeless shelters often run out of socks, which is why Bombas donates one pair of socks for every pair purchased!
Where did you go to camp?
I went to Camp Pemy an all boys camp in Wentworth, NH for 5 years, and Camp Cody a coed camp, in Ossipee, NH for 5 years as well. Both were 8-week sleepaway camps.
What are you currently doing?
I am the co-founder and CEO of Bombas, a line of athletic-leisure socks, re-engineered to look better, feel better and with a mission to help those in need.
How has camp influenced what you do/your career path?
As a CIT and Counselor, I really learned how to be a leader. Now, and earlier in my career, leadership skills have played a major role and camp definitely provided the ground work for that.
Also, funny enough, I was really picky about my socks. My mom sent me to camp with one nicer pair of socks (and a ton of the plain white sweat socks), so I literally wore the same pair all summer (gross I know). This pair was the most comfortable since it didn’t have the seam at the toes, so when it was time to design our socks, I knew this feature was a must.
What are your top three essentials that you packed in your trunk?
Egg crate bed cushion, boom box, a wet suit
What are three words to describe your camp experience?
Refreshing, Inspiring, Unforgettable
Who was someone at camp that you looked up to?
My counselor Lubee, he always seemed like a really cool guy and I’m happy to say we are still friends today.
Why do you think it is important to go to camp?
It teaches independence at a young age, appreciation for the outdoors, and camaraderie.
What is your favorite/most epic camp memory?
When I broke the camp record for the most consecutive 360’s on a kneeboard – 244!
How has camp affected your adult life? Is there something you learned there that you still do today?
It really taught me the importance of taking time to escape, enjoy the outdoors and most importantly have fun. Today it can be really hard to disconnect from work and every day technology, but I try to do it at least a few times a year. This past summer, I really tapped into my inner camper and went to Camp WeWork with a bunch of friends – felt like old times!
Words of wisdom for current and future campers?
Go full term, try as many new things as possible and become a counselor to get an appreciation for seeing the other side.
How do you keep in touch with your camp friends? What has kept you close through all of these years?
We schedule a yearly lunch the day before thanksgiving where all of us get together; however, we stay in touch individually throughout the year and reminisce about the ‘good old camp’ days.
What is your favorite camp tradition?
Color War, of course!
What was your favorite camp food?
Peanut Butter & Jelly
What is your favorite camp cheer?
Green and Grey!
What did you prefer – pool or lake?
Lake (we didn’t have a pool)
Favorite canteen candy?
We didn’t have a canteen, but we’d get these great snacks after off-campus hikes, and I always went for the jaw breaker
Favorite / most requested item on visiting day?
My parents taking me off campus for dinner at the Pizza Barn
What was your favorite camp activity?
Waterskiing, by far…
If you had to have something from camp tattooed on you, what would it be?
Wild Bill Cody
What is your favorite camp word/expression?
Favorite camp memento?
Five year t-shirt
Did you ever get homesick at camp? How did you deal with that?
Yes, early on, but thankfully I had my brother and cousin with me, so they helped.
What were the biggest trends/must have items when you went to camp?
Disposable cameras, Disc-Man and the Caselogic CD holders, Magic Cards and Playing Cards.
Any firsts at camp?
Kiss – we were an all-boys camp, but the inter-camp socials were always exciting.
If you want your camper to have the coolest feet in the bunk or you find at the end of summer your kid has returned home with dirtied or missing socks, do yourself and favor and “bee kind” and order some pairs of these look good, feel good, do good socks!
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