Attention Girls’ Side and Boys’ Side!! Join us in welcoming the newest member of the Summer 365 family, Jodi! Campbassadors are our #1 fans, cheer squad, and fellow camp-obsessed former campers who want to spread the summer love! And, most importantly, they are dedicated to joining in our mission of giving the gift of summer camp to children.
We are so excited to introduce you to Jodi Shapiro and give you a peek into her camp experience and passion for sleepaway camp.
Where did you go to camp?
I went to camp Kenwood/Kenmont in Kent Connecticut 1983-1990 as a camper, 1991 as a camper waitress – and spent the summer of ’93 as a counselor at Indian Head Camp in Honesdale Pennsylvania.
How has camp affected your life?
Camp molded the person I am today. It taught me leadership skills, it taught me how to win and how to lose…It taught me how to be responsible and how to be accountable for my own actions. Most importantly, it taught me about human kindness. Camp is where I learned to treat others the same way I want to be treated. People make mistakes, and are flawed but I can love people for who they are and I can be loved for who I am.
We know you are the mama of two adorable little ones. Will they go to camp? Why do you think it is important for children to go to camp?
They both have spent the last few summers at a Gate Hill Day Camp and this summer my oldest, Matthew is going to sleepaway camp, Takajo in Naples Maine. From the second my boys entered the world, we knew that sleepaway was in their future. Camp is so important because it gives children the opportunity to grow and flourish as individuals. Children learn independence, they learn how to problem solve, they learn how to overcome obstacles, they learn about their peers, and they learn about themselves. They learn how to be a part of a bigger community. But what makes camp so special – is they learn all of this in the most fun, active, supportive environment.
What are your top three essentials that you packed in your trunk?
Hmmm….top 3 is hard to pick….1) Social Clothes b/c I went to a uniform camp 2) flip flops for the shower 3) My own set of Jax
What are three words to describe your camp experience?
Unique, Traditions, Sportsmanship
Who was someone at camp that you looked up to?
My group Leader, Alyssa Rohdie! 20+ years later – she is still a HUGE influence and role model in my life. She was supportive and loving as a camp counselor – and she plays the same role for me in my life today.
What is your favorite/most epic camp memory?
My first summer – I was 7 – and day 2 I was sick – spiked a fever which landed me in the infirmary for over a week. The night of July 4th – Our camp put on this incredible firework display on the field right outside the infirmary. The fireworks weren’t just for our camp, but for the entire town of Kent. There were hundreds and hundreds of people on the field. I was sitting on the porch of the infirmary – and as my bunk walked by to take their seats – they all sang – on the top of their lungs a camp cheer “We love you Jodi, oh yes we do, we don’t love anyone as much as you, Oh Jodi we MISS you”….I remember tearing up and feeling so special and so loved – and from that day on…I was hooked on camp…still am☺
Words of wisdom for current and future campers?
Let your guard down and be YOU
What is your favorite camp tradition?
What was your favorite camp food?
What is your favorite camp cheer?
After we said Grace, but before we sat down – each bunk in Upper Camp had their own cheer – and the oldest group went last – We were called Moms and Pops – and singing our dining hall cheer was a rite of passage – it started with WE ARE THE SUPER DUPES YES WE ARE….While it’s only a cheer that Kenwood Alumni will know – it’s still my absolute favorite.
Favorite canteen candy?
Frozen Charleston Chew
Favorite / most requested item on visiting day?
A bag of Jax Cheese Doodles
What was your favorite camp activity?
Water skiing & Volleyball
If you had to have something from camp tattooed on you, what would it be?
Feather – Each week at campfire one girl from the entire camp was named “girl of the week”. It was a huge huge honor. You were presented with the “girl of the week” feather.
What is your favorite camp word/expression?
“Socials”…that was what we called co-ed activities – and we always looked forward to our “socials”!
Favorite camp memento?
Big gold spray painted water ski I have sitting in my parents basement – I was voted “best water skier upper camp” in ’87 and that was my “trophy”.
What were the biggest trends/must have items when you went to camp?
HUGE oversized college sweatshirts with the neck cut out….
Any firsts at camp?
So many firsts but my most memorable – once I was in upper camp – shaving my legs. We did as a bunk activity – 10 of us sitting on front porch.