This is my second interview this week with one of our many, many capable, adept, talented, insightful, charming, counselors. We have so many that I could really interview them all for you — but alas, time being what it is, we’ve limited it to two interviews….for now!
Now on to Bridgett, who was so kind as to share her story with us for #GhanyJobsWeek.
An Interview with Bridgett
Elizabeth: What age did you first come to camp as a camper and how many years did you come?
Bridgett: I first came to camp when I was 10 years old, and this will be my 10th summer!
Elizabeth: What was your favorite thing about camp as a camper and why?
My favorite thing about camp has always been campfires. Even when I was younger, I absolutely loved getting to sit and listen to the campfire event for that night, and being surrounded by everyone and singing and feeling the love in that space is incredible.
Elizabeth: What brought you to camp — had other people in your family come or did you just hear about it and come?
My mom was in the Non-Camper Counselor Club (NCCC) back in the early 80’s (Editor’s note: This means her mom never came to Camp Alleghany as a camper before being hired as a counselor). She started talking to me about Camp Alleghany when I was about six or seven, so I was thinking about camp long before I had actually had the chance to go!
Elizabeth: When you were a camper, what did you think being a counselor was like? How did that differ from when you became one?
The counselors at Alleghany have always been expert at hiding the work side of the job. When I was a camper, I thought being a counselor was the coolest thing ever! You got to control all the games and stay up late and grade rifle targets. All of it seemed like a breeze! Of course, you learn during your Junior Counselor (JC) summer that there’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes. I can honestly say you appreciate what your counselors did for you SO much more once you have seen things from both sides.
Elizabeth: Were you a JC? If so what did that teach you? How did that differ from becoming a full counselor?
I was a proud purple Dancing Queen of 2014! ☺
I learned a LOT from that summer. Being a JC is typically the first job that a lot of these girls have, so it comes with a lot of adjusting and growing up. One of the biggest things I learned that summer was how to work with my Unit Heads and Counselor bosses when things got a little bit over my head.
Knowing when to ask for help is incredibly important, and because I learned that as a JC, I now also know how to help my staff and other counselors.
Elizabeth: You’ve held a few different positions as a camp counselor. Have you wanted more responsibility over the years? If so, why? What motivates you about gaining more responsibility?
I think it was just the natural path. This camp breeds leadership, and when you work under such incredible, hard-working women, you tend to seek out something more challenging. My purpose as a counselor has always been to share the experience of the camp that I had. If there is a role that allows me to give more girls that chance, then I’ll take it.
Elizabeth: You were Head of Drama last summer. What did that entail? Was it a healthy challenge — like did you learn something new about organizing, creativity, presentation, or anything like that? Any anecdotes from that summer?
Calling it a healthy challenge is the best way of putting it! Being a Department Head comes with a new level of paperwork and organization that I wasn’t totally prepared for, but adapting to the job gave me some incredible work experience.
I can honestly say we had some incredible times (bringing musicals back to camp!) and some…rough ones. Floods, ash trays, and bats were never friends of mine!
Elizabeth: Now you’re coming back as Midway Mom (Editor’s Note: This is a position in charge of a whole age cohort of 13- and 14-year old campers, involving mentoring, guidance, and special time together). How do you feel that the previous experience will help you this summer?
Midway Mom has always been a dream of mine. My last position at camp really showed me where I wanted to be and what my priorities are. I am so excited to guide such a great group of girls, and I am more prepared than ever because of the tough lessons I learned last summer.
Elizabeth: Besides fun, friends, and all the good stuff that’s a given at camp — what do you most wish to accomplish from a job and experience point-of-view at camp this summer?
I hope that after this summer I can say that I have dealt with all of the different camp environments and the pressure that comes with each of them. I also hope that what I bring to the Midways this summer will have a lasting impact on them. I want their Midway summer to be just as unforgettable as the rest.
Elizabeth: And now you can tell us something awesome and fun about your upcoming summer….
We are going to shake things up for our middle children this year. I plan on having the Midways steal the show this summer! We are going to prep them for the years to come and get super close as an age group. It’s going to be phenomenal!
Many thanks to Bridgett for taking the time to do this interview. I really appreciate her time and hope her answers will help inspire you to consider a job as a camp counselor! And we’re still hiring, so you can see some job listings on social media by using the hashtag #GhanyJobsWeek and learn more about how to work at Camp Alleghany for Girls by visiting our hiring hub.
And if you are interested, please, download my FREE e-book all about how being a camp counselor is a move that will absolutely help you start building a career where you gain more responsibility, higher earning power, and more satisfaction!
— Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls