Drumroll please… introducing our COTW, Amanda! She is the incredibly creative co-founder of Dormify that she started with her mom. We have a special spot in our hearts for mother daughter founded companies … especially those started by camp alumni. Amanda is just as much of a camp-lifer as we are, and we are so excited to introduce her and the wonderful world of Dormify to you.
Ready?…OK! Amanda attended a 7-week, co-ed camp in Pennsylvania for 8 years as a camper and 1 as a counselor. She grew up in Potomac, MD and now is bringing Dormify to the world from New York City. She is the expert on all things chic for dorm rooms, camp bunks, and beyond… “I’m dormifying the world one day at a time. Dormify.com is a one-stop shop for all fabulous, yet practical, décor items for any small space. My mom and I started the company together when I was in college, out of a need for stylish dorm bedding and décor. We design and manufacture exclusive products including bedding, wall prints and decals, shower curtains, and also curate selected products including rugs, seating, storage/organization, accessories and much more.”
We think it’s safe to say Amanda definitely had the most stylish bed in her bunk! Read more about her experience and then head to Dormify to shop for amazing camp products to help your camper bunkify this summer!
What are your top three essentials that you packed in your trunk?
Soffee shorts in EVERY color of the rainbow, my crazy creek, and a high powered fan.
What are three words to describe your camp experience?
Life-changing, happiness, my home.
Who was someone at camp that you looked up to?
My color war general. When I was younger, I’m pretty sure I thought the boy generals were gods.
Why do you think it is important to go to camp?
Camp gives you a family outside of your immediate family, where your bunkmates become your sisters and your campgrounds become your second home. Going to camp opens you up to new experiences, people, and personalities that help define who you are and the person you will become. I have learned so many invaluable lessons that I would not have learned at school or home. Nothing compares.
What is your favorite camp memory?
There are way too many to name – I’m crying as I think about this. But, my last night as a camper was pretty special. All of the girls my age stayed up all night and watched the sunrise together on the basketball court, and we realized this was it – our lives as campers would never be the same. Oh, and we were sure to sneak the boys into our bunk that night, too!
How has camp affected your adult life? Is there something you learned there that you still do today?
I think the fact that I am still best friends with all of my camp friends really says something. The network that I have grown based on my web of “camp people” and the connections through camp friends is invaluable. After college, we (thankfully) all moved to New York and made a “PFC in NYC” Group Me chat, instantly. We plan group dinners, happy hours, or brunches whenever we have the chance and whenever we’re together, it’s as if no time has passed. These girls will always be my best friends, and will always know me better than anyone else in the world. Let’s face it, these were the girls who saw me naked more often than clothed, who taught me how to use my first tampon, and who were written about in my college admission essays.
How has camp influenced what you do/your career path?
Camp and college are very similar when you think about it, and being a camper is great preparation for when you go off to college for the first time. Going to camp definitely made me a more creative, passionate person, two traits that are essential in what I currently do.
Words of wisdom for current and future campers?
Whatever you do, don’t let your friends stop going back to camp! Keep going until they tell you that you’re too old, or you have to get a job in the real world. Go back to be a counselor for at least one year. Not only was that summer one of the best, but that summer defined me and helped me grow up – I had my first real, paying job, I was responsible for 15 young girls, and I met a boy who changed my life. After so many years as a camper, it’s cool to see camp from the other side.
What is your favorite camp tradition?
During color war, there are two huge basketball games played at night – boys and girls A-game. This night game was a HUGE deal – and a whole production surrounded it, including the making of our A-game jerseys on the day of. These “jerseys” were only worn during the opening routine we did to introduce the players, but we spent all day long creating these works of art. The time and effort that went into creating these glitter-covered white tees was incredible. Every young camper dreamed of having an A-game jersey of their own one day. To this day, mine is framed and hanging in my bedroom at home! (see photo).
What was your favorite camp food?
Grilled cheese, tomato soup, and tater tots.
What is your favorite camp cheer?
We are Pine Forest born, and Pine Forest bred, and when we die we’ll be Pine Forest dead, so go go Pine Forest Forest, go go Pine Forest, go Pine Forest, P-F-C (sung daily in the dining hall).
What did you prefer – pool or lake?
Pool 100% – I think it took me a solid 4 years to actually touch the bottom of the lake. But then again, I looked for an excuse to get out of instructional swim every chance I got.
Sports or arts?
Both! I was very competitive when it came to sports I liked to play – basketball, football, gymnastics. But, I could also spend all day at arts and crafts, making bracelet after bracelet.
Favorite canteen candy?
Favorite / most requested item on visiting day?
Oh boy. Making my visiting day list to send to my parents was always fun. I can’t remember a visiting day that I didn’t ask for bagels and lox. And extras to last me through the weekend.
What was your favorite camp activity?
Waterskiing and evening activity. Socials to be specific, if that’s a valid answer :)
If you had to have something from camp tattooed on you, what would it be?
“18425” – my camp’s zip code.
What is your favorite camp word/expression?
BUNKO! Or “we live 10 for 2” because although cliche, it’s just the truth.
Favorite camp momento?
I refused to throw out anything from camp. So besides, my a-game jersey as previously mentioned, I’ve dug up some old camp bus notes – those are pretty funny to read now.
Did you ever get homesick at camp? How did you deal with that?
Never. I loved camp too much to miss home. However, as a counselor, I had to deal with that a lot. There was lots of snuggling and playing “mommy!”
Everyone loves a camp love story…got anything good for us?
Well, I found my first real love at camp. And let’s just say, it’s complicated.
Fun fact: I was in the camp circus production one year. Also, when we were CA’s (CIT’s) we created our own sorority, and got our own greek letters printed. So illegal, and all the counselors thought we were insane.
Click here to shop Amanda’s picks for Summer 2014! A special Summer 365 discount included :)