Meet the newest member of our Summer 365 crew, Jill Wormser!! She is our CIT aka our summer intern and we could not be more excited to have her in the HCO! She, of course, is a lifelong camper and went to her all girls, 7 week, sleepaway camp for 10 years. This is the first summer that she is not returning to camp since she started (no need to tear up just yet). While we feel her pain – everyone at Summer 365 wishes they were going back to camp too – we know Jill will get her fill of all things camp this summer. Read about her thoughts and feelings about this transition and all about her camp experience. She can’t wait to report to you on all the latest and greatest information, products, and trends about camp.
So sing it with us now… “We welcome you to Summer 3-6-5 we’re mighty glad you’re here…”
Being a life long camp girl, deciding not to go to camp could possibly be the world’s HARDEST decision. Though I will never grow out of camp, the real world was calling my name and it was time to embrace the change. The values that camp has taught me will stick with me forever and the friendships I have made are forever lasting. Not being at camp only meant one thing, that the perfect internship for me would be camp involved! When I heard about the Summer 365 internship opportunity, I knew that I had found my new summer home. I have the best of both worlds now that I get to work in the camp industry and I get to discuss all things summer all day long! I gained so much from my own camp experience, that helping others find the right camp experience is extremely rewarding and exciting for me. With color war paint on my cheeks, and shower flip-flops on my feet, I am loving my new summer home.
What are you currently doing?
I am an upcoming junior at The University of Wisconsin – Madison, double majoring in Communication Arts and Human Development.
How has camp influenced what you do/your career path?
As a student, it is important to be independent and responsible. Camp has taught me both these qualities and so much more. Specifically, being a Human Development major, my experience as a camp counselor has taught me equally as much about teenage development as my lectures and classes have taught me.
What are your top three essentials that you packed in your trunk?
My favorite stuffed animal, Jacks, and a Crazy Creek
What are three words to describe your camp experience?
Life changing, Amazing, Friendship
Who was someone at camp that you looked up to?
My older counselors, I always thought they were so cool and wanted to do everything that they did! I am still in touch with a lot of them, and they are like older sisters to me now.
Why do you think it is important to go to camp?
Camp has taught me more than I could ever imagine. I learned the value of friendship, how to make the best of any situation, how to be responsible and silly at the same time. Most importantly, camp gave me the best friends I could ever ask for, so friendship is the most important reason!
What is your favorite camp memory?
My last camper summer I was a tribal captain, so I was painted my team color and then all the captains jumped into the lake together. I will never forget this!
How has camp affected your adult life? Is there something you learned there that you still do today?
Camp has taught me literally EVERYTHING, but one thing in particular that I learned is the benefit of disconnecting from technology. These days’ kids are surrounded social media and technology constantly and it is so hard for them to disconnect. Camp gives kids the opportunity to switch that off button. Today, many times my days are consumed with technology and I have to remind myself the lesson that camp taught me, and I turn all my electronics off.
Words of wisdom for current and future campers?
Camp friends are the best friends!!!
What is your favorite camp tradition?
Every Friday a different age group would lead the evening activity. The activity is unique because the entire age group participates and presents a “theme” to the whole camp and teaches camp the about the values that fall into that theme category. There are songs, skits etc. involved and it is truly incredible experience.
What was your favorite camp food?
What is your favorite camp cheer?
The welcome cheer – I always loved this because this was the first cheer I learned at camp.
What is your favorite movie about camp/that you saw at camp?
Parent Trap, when I was little I wanted to go to Walden because of that movie
What did you prefer – pool or lake?
Lake (we didn’t have a pool!)
I was a water skiing fanatic as a kid, and as I grew older I loved to hang out on the boat and teach the younger campers how to waterski.
Sports or arts?
Arts! At camp, the art program is called MADD – that stands for Music, Arts, Dance and Drama. MADD quickly became one of my favorite daily activities.
Favorite canteen candy?
Green Sour Punch Straws
Favorite / most requested item on visiting day?
Pretzels, I’m obsessed with pretzels!!
What was your favorite camp activity?
Water skiing, I became a life guard my last summer as a camper so that I could hang out on the water ski dock all day.
If you had to have something from camp tattooed on you, what would it be?
18455 (the zip code)
What is your favorite camp word/expression?
Camp friends are the best friends!
Favorite camp memento?
Pictures and scrapbooks, every summer after camp I would spend days making scrapbooks of all the goofy pictures that I had taken that summer.
Did you ever get homesick at camp? How did you deal with that?
I can honestly say I was never a homesick camper; I was the first camper to run onto the bus and never cried on visiting day. I definitely wrote a bunch of letters home though. When my friends got homesick I tried to distract them by talking about something else or doing a fun activity with them.
What happens at camp stays at camp… but got anything you want to tell us?
As a counselor, I “stole” the key to the canteen, and my campers were able to raid the canteen and take all the candy that they wanted! Shhh don’t tell anyone that though!