Posted 28/08/2018 7:10:23 PM by Oliver Lam

Summer Camps 2018 has wrapped up and our campers aren't the only ones taking away with them amazing memories and positive experiences. All of our camp staff have put their hearts and souls into making summer camp one to remember for all the kids they worked with, and along the way they've also collected some pretty awesome moments too. Hannah, Kate and Jeremy are three YMCA camp staff who were excited to talk about all things summer camp 2018!
 



HANNAH SARGEANT


What is your hometown?
I grew up in London, England.

How many years have you worked at YMCA Camps?
I’m fairly new to YMCA Camps as I started in April 2018, so I’ve worked here for about six months.

What was your role at camp this summer?
I was the Day Camp Director.

Why did you choose to work at YMCA Camp Elphinstone?
I came here in the spring to work as an Outdoor Education Coordinator for the school groups. Back home I did a lot of work with school groups, so I was looking for something similar but in an amazing place like this. So that’s how I ended up at Elphinstone. And originally I was going to be here for the spring only but then I was invited to stay to work day camps for the summer. I really enjoyed spring so I decided to stay for the summer too and will be here until November. It’s good fun!

What have you enjoyed about working at Camp Elphinstone over the past several months?
First of all, it’s a stunning place to live and I’ve made really good friends. Also, it’s great to be doing something worthwhile. I love being on the coast as. Where I’m from there aren’t many camps that are so close. I can honestly say that camp life is good. It’s also really fun working with all the kids and is a nice change from a regular 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. job. There’s always lots of variation and although in my role I spend time in the office, I always find time to make my way down to the dock. Lastly, it's a fun environment here and everyone gets along and is here for the right reasons.

What have been some highlights and memorable moments for you this past summer?
I’ve been sailing for five years so being able to take kids sailing who have never been before was pretty special—anything on the waterfront is generally my favourite part of camps. Also, there was one week when we had Day Camp’s Got Talent, which was certainly one of the highlights of the summer.

What advice would you give future camp staff?
You need to absolutely love kids, have a lot of enthusiasm and creativity. And you need to be able to keep up with the kids’ energy all day. You need to be understanding of what kids may be going through and be there for them if they want to chat with you.

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SOME OF HANNAH'S FAVOURITE THINGS:

Ice cream/dessert...
This whole summer I’ve gone to Mike’s Place, which is located here in Gibsons, to get gelato. Every day off I get I’ll head there and get at least two flavours. I even have a loyalty card and have quite a few stamps (laughs). My favourite gelato flavours are Radical Rolo and Passionfruit. I also love desserts and my favourite is a good pavlova with raspberries.

Camp song...
I would have say a couple of my favourites are the Milk song and Down by the Bay. So much fun!

Dream getaway...
I would love to explore Vancouver Island, all of Canada and visit Guatemala too.



KATE LUPO-FLEWELLING


What is your hometown?
I am from Flesherton, Ontario. Shout out to my parents!

How many years have you worked at YMCA Camps?
I just started working at YMCA Camp Elphinstone in the summer.

What was your role at camp this summer?
My role this summer was Group Leader.

What have you enjoyed about your first summer at YMCA Camp Elphinstone?
I had finished my first year of university [this past April] and have gone through a lot of growth and change over the past year; and Elphinstone has been such an accepting environment. I’ve never been able to completely be myself and see others completely be themselves and not be judged. Everyone here is so enthusiastic and the energy is so bright. It’s beautiful here and the landscape is amazing. Being here has been life changing.

What have been some highlights and memorable moments for you this past summer?
It would be sailing—it’s such a breath of fresh air. When you’re out on the water and get the right day, it’s amazing! I also loved doing arts and crafts with the campers, I find it meditative.

What advice would you give future camp staff?
It’s important to be open and accepting, and understanding to everyone they work with. I would also say that successful counsellors make the best use of their time and try and connect with the campers in their group. Also, doing the little things like asking their campers how they’re doing each day and being present with all of them.

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SOME OF KATE'S FAVOURITE THINGS:

Ice cream/dessert...
For ice cream, I love every flavour except for mint chocolate chip. I worked in an ice cream store for five years so I have lots of favourites. One of the top flavours is Moose Tracks with peanut butter, caramel, fudge and vanilla.

Camp song...
Aunt Hoover is definitely one of my favourite camp songs!

Dream getaway...
I would have to say any lush spot in Italy.



JEREMY STEHR-SO


What is your hometown?
I’m from New Westminster, B.C.

How many years have you worked at YMCA Camps?
This is my third year on staff at Camp Elphinstone.

What was your role at camp this summer?
This year I’m the Leadership Development I (LDI) Counsellor.

Why did you choose to work at YMCA Camp Elphinstone?
I first found out about Camp Elphinstone because my brother used to come here. I decided to work at Elphinstone because it’s a really beautiful location right on Howe Sound and is so close to where I live. It’s such a special place to work at during the summer.

What have you enjoyed about this summer in particular?
I’ve really enjoyed working with the staff team and getting to meet some new people. This year there’s also people from other camps so they’re bringing new songs and new traditions to the experience, so that’s really cool. I also had a great time with the LDI campers and loved having the opportunity to bring my own ideas to the camp.

Theme days are huge at camp with today being Robin Hood day. What do you, the staff and the campers enjoy about these extra special days?
I think theme days create a more magical environment at camp. It’s so different and all the campers get to make believe all day, but it also feels real because you’re right in it. I think it’s such a cool day for the kids and it’s super fun for the staff. We get to do spontaneous things and get the kids to dance and cheer. It really enhances the spirit at camp.

What have been some highlights and memorable moments for you this past summer?
Theme day was certainly one for sure. Also, I completed a four-day canoe trip with my kids, so that was a big highlight for me. When we got back from the trip the kids really felt that sense of accomplishment, which is a great feeling. And just going for a swim in the ocean with your cabin or a whole group was always fun.

What advice would you give future camp staff?
You definitely have to have a lot of enthusiasm and positivity all the time. Sometimes it’s hard but you still have to find it within you to bring energy to all the activities so that the campers can enjoy all the happy moments that take place each day. It’s a lot of hard work to be a camp counsellor but is so worth it in the end. The kids go home happy and with an experience they’ll never forget, so the hard work really pays off.

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SOME OF JEREMY'S FAVOURITE THINGS:

Ice cream/dessert...
Ben and Jerry’s has some really good flavours. There’s a Jimmy Fallon Tonight Show flavour… I think it’s called the Tonight Dough and it has cookie dough and chocolate—that’s a delicious ice cream. I also love cheesecake of any kind!

Camp song...
I learned a song from camp last year and it’s called the Crawdad Song. It's always fun singing it at camp.  

Dream getaway...
I’ve been really wanting to visit Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario and go canoeing there. I hear it’s beautiful and there’s lots of lakes and great trails. I think you can get really deep into the woods and the backcountry when you go on a hike. Also, I heard in the fall when the leaves are changing it looks amazing and magical.


Are you a natural leader looking for a career where you can make a positive impact in communities throughout the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Sunshine Coast? The YMCA of Greater Vancouver is currently looking for amazing individuals to join its teams in a wide range of areas including outdoor education, before and after school care, early childhood education and aquatics.

 

Oliver Lam

About Oliver Lam

Oliver is a Marketing and Communications Manager based out of Joyce YMCA. He loves watching sports documentaries, enjoys cooking and will take advantage of any and every opportunity to spend time at Granville Island with his family.

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