We asked Sound to share some of his thoughts about our 93rd summer at Camp Namanu, and his 1st with us as Resident Camp Director. Check out Sound Reflections!
It had been 8 long years out of the Camp ‘world.’ I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but it didn’t take long to fall in love with Camp Namanu.
For the 7 years prior to being the new Resident Camp Director at Camp Namanu, I had been working for Camp Fire Columbia as a SUN Site Manager, at Menlo Park Elementary, and as the Volunteer Manager based in our downtown Portland office.
I had heard countless stories of Namanu from one of my Menlo students back in 2009. Some of the things she would say included:
“You get to write letters to Mr. Skriggleboggle!”
“They have SO many activities!”
“Dreamcake is my favorite!”
“Camp Namanu is the best place on Earth!”
I had to know what this all meant, so the following Spring my staff and I organized a trip to Camp Namanu so I could see for myself. She was right. And that is when I knew I would one day be a part of this camp. This summer I was honored to give her 10 year speech at one of our closing Camp Fires.
For all of our opening and closing Camp Fires we are proud to have all of our campers be one group and celebrate our time together as one. Seeing and hearing the songs, laughter, and stories are things that I will never forget. The magic of Camp Namanu that I had heard about every day is very real.
Nothing represented the magic more than the dedication, passion, and love for Camp Namanu that I witnessed with the CITs this summer. Watching them working hard to learn about youth development, memorize every single song to sing in front of Raker, be fantastic role models for their peers and other campers whilst still having the energy to participate in all of camps activities was astounding. I was able to witness some great individual and team growth with this group. Being able to share their final closing Camp Fire with their families was a wonderful moment, and as I said during their CIT graduation, this is the beginning of their next chapters at Camp Namanu. The future of Namanu is in very good hands.
We had almost 1500 campers experience the magic of Camp Namanu this summer. We are very excited to be able to add another week of Camp in 2017 to let more campers experience this magic too. It was fun to experience a lot of this with many campers this summer, from attending a Blue Wing bandana ceremony, shooting arrows with Sherwood at Archery, playing GaGa Ball with Robin Hill and participating in team building games with Kiwanis, to enjoying a tea party with some Pioneer campers, braving the cold during a Polar Bear swim with the Gears and completing the High Ropes circuit with CITs and Balagan.
There is still work to be done, the leadership team and I learned a lot of things this summer. We are already striving to make next summer even more fun than the last. Whether that be small logistical changes, adding more activities to camp, or bringing back some old favorites. We are excited that we get to do this for you all!
Thank you for a wonderful summer, and I hope to see you again in 2017.
Resident Camp Director, Camp Namanu