MEET FOUR OF OUR 2022 CAMP COUNSELORS
FROM YMCA CAMP SARGENT
We are fortunate to have such dedicated and inspiring staff working with your campers, helping to make this the best summer ever!
All four of these counselors are eager to return to camp for the 2023 session and we are excited to have them on our team.
First year counselor, studying Communications at University of New Hampshire
Finn loves working with the Cobras (campers entering 6th and 7th grade). “It’s been a really good summer. Working at camp is more than a 9 to 5 job. I genuinely enjoy my day here.” Finn is taking a break from studies at University of New Hampshire, pursuing a degree in Communications. He’s working as a substitute teacher at Amherst Middle School (AMS) and he’s hoping to join the Y Academy at AMS (the YMCA’s after school program) this fall. In addition to working at a counselor with the Cobras, Finn has led Happy Potter specialty camp and worked with Vipers, also campers entering 6th and 7th grade. “Kids love Capture the Flag. I love watching them strategize with their teammates and team-build during the game.” Some of the activities he’s loves working with the campers in is paddle boarding, kayaking, and time on the water trampoline. The summer has been a hot one and counselors are reminded to keep their campers hydrated. “I’ve been incentivizing the campers to drink more water by doing five up-downs (like a burpee) each time they drink a bottle of water!”
Finn has enjoyed getting to know the other counselors and loves when they get together for fun after camp. “We had a dinner at camp followed by a staff kickball game on the sports field. We also went bowling at Leda Lanes one night. It was great getting to know staff on a personal level.”
“Working at camp is not an easy job. You have to work and you must care about the kids. At the end of the day when I’m home, it’s rewarding to think about the day. I’m always satisfied at how I chose to spend my day working at camp,” he said.
First year counselor, studying Social Work at Simmons University
“I’ve always loved working with kids! I not only have fun myself, but I love to be sure the kids have fun,” Shayla said. She is a counselor with the K-Club campers (children entering Kindergarten). “Their favorite part of the day is playground time. They also love boating, going on the water trampoline and arts and crafts. Shayla also developed curriculum for “Once Upon A Time,” camp’s fairytales camp that includes crafts and games based on fairytales. “I grew up loving fairytales and this camp is a dream come true!,” she said. Shayla also has run the Camp Sargent Players, which is a two-week camp session of students entering 3rd and 4th grade. The production she worked on was The Little Mermaid, which was presented to the full camp and parents on the second Friday of the session. One of her favorite camp memories is working with a little boy was for the first couple of weeks of camp was very shy and quiet and a bit scared. She watched him get comfortable playing games and meeting camp friends. “He was the Camper of the Week last week. He now holds my hands and loves to run up and hug me.”
Next semester Shayla will be studying at Korea University in Seoul. “I wanted to experience another country and a culture that is very different from here. I’m so excited to start this adventure,” she said.
Second year counselor, studying Environmental Science at University of New Hampshire
“Every day is different at camp. It’s great to be outside all day. Before working at camp, I did some sports coaching with kids, but never worked full time with them. I love working with kids now! I love that I get paid to go paddle boarding or on the water trampoline with my campers,” Lynne said.
She said she keeps in touch with counselors she worked with last summer. “They taught me the ropes and shared tips and tricks of being a counselor. I try to be like that with the new counselors here. I recruited two friends to work at camp this summer. It’s a tough job and can be emotionally draining when kids aren’t listening. But, overall I love it here.,” she said.
Lynne is studying Environmental Science and will decide on a minor in Mathematics or Education. She will be starting her Sophomore year at UNH this fall. She started as an Environmental Engineering major at Lehigh University her first year of college, but decided that she didn’t like Physics, Coding, and Engineering courses. She loves the environmental part and honed in on Environmental Science.
Her favorite parts of camp are watching the joy of the Camper of the Week awards each Friday. Also on Fridays is the camp play. Today (August 19) will be the Wizard of Oz.
Lynn developed the Silly Science Specialty Camp curriculum. The first day of that camp begins with the campers designing their lab coats out of big white t-shirts. “Kids design the artwork. There are sometimes traditional science icons like a beaker, atom, computer, and planet Earth,” she shared. Some of the other activities she planned are: slime and lava lamp creations; Soil Day when they make edible soil cups with brownies, gummy worms, graham crackers, and chocolate chips. They make terrariums and learn composting. A highlight of the week for campers is making balloon rockets and racing them in a competitive tournament. The winner gets a freeze pop with lunch!
Lynn also shared that her mother came to Camp Sargent as a camper! She will be taking her mom on a camp tour before the end of summer.
First year Counselor, Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Science and Biology from Rivier University
2022 Camp Counselor Nick Riddell has many interests! He started his college career studying Forensic Science and Criminal Justice at Lasell University in Newton, Massachusetts. He finished his studies at Rivier University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Science and Biology! During the school year, Nick works at Gate City Charter School as a Wellness/Physical Education teacher. “I fell in love with this school,” Nick shared. He teaches dietary, nutrition, sports and hygiene at Gate City Charter School.
Nick works with the Starfish camper group, which are the students entering 2nd grade.
“I love watching the kids grow together. They rely on each other. They become friends and become a family. It’s awesome. Being a teacher and camp counselor, you must be patient,” he said. With a huge grin, Nick added, “You have no ego, you’re just there for the kids. Children have no filter. They will say anything!”
Nature is his favorite activity at camp. “We built fairy houses and bug hotels. I get to see the creative genius of the kids. They create a picture in their mind of what they want to build, they find what to build with, and the project comes to life. It’s like 4-D art. “It’s amazing the amount of bugs they find for their houses!”
“I’d love to come back to camp next summer!,” he said.
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