Author, Ocean Activist
Name: Blair Northen Williamson
Summers as a Camper: 4
Years as a Staff Member/Positions held: 1 summer - a Coast Guard on Motorboating and Senior Counselor in Charge
Current Profession and Title/Years in role: Award-winning Author and Ocean Activist, 2 years, Enrollment and Sales Manager, Global Expeditions Group, 15 years
Can you provide a brief overview of your job responsibilities?
I host Q&A sessions with families wanting to send their children on a life-changing ActionQuest, Seamester, or GoBeyond Student Travel adventure with us. In my free time, I enjoy playing in my imagination while writing children’s picture books. I particularly enjoy writing stories to spread awareness about environmental issues I have experienced while working in this industry and while traveling as a family. In my past, I was a sailing captain and scuba diving instructor for our ActionQuest summer programs operationally in the British Virgin Islands for 6 summers.
Do you have any career advice for members of our Camp community?
Seafarer introduced me to the idea of goal setting and celebrating achievement at a very young age. There is no doubt this has stuck with me. I set goals daily, weekly, monthly, annually. This can be very useful for organization, time-management, and applied across any career path you choose. Take a page out of Seafarer’s book and set goals to achieve ranks in your life! No matter how big or small, celebrate them ALL!
What do you believe have been some of your greatest personal and professional accomplishments? Is there a goal toward which you are currently working?
I work every day to be the best mother and wife I can be. Outside of my family, I am pretty proud of the following “ranks”:
PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer
200-ton Yacht Captain
My debut book, Island Girls, was named a Book Excellence Award Winner
I was inducted into the Collegiate High School Athletic Hall of Fame
I am currently working toward the traditional publication of multiple picture books that are out on submission, and I also plan to make Island Girls a series. The next book will be about coral bleaching.
How do the values or skills you learned at Camp show up in your everyday work and/or personal life?
Growing up in an environment that cherished and celebrated people who displayed incredible character traits really helped shape me into a solid human. I think that Seafarer is an environment that promotes kindness, honesty, integrity, self-confidence, independence and consideration of others… all things that are a recipe for success in the world. I try daily to act in a way that would be celebrated by camp. Camp values still have a big impact on me.
Is there a person or a situation that had a huge influence on you while you were at Camp? How and why did they/it impact you?
I had a few counselors who were very influential. Two in particular. Catherine Rainbow and Leila Goddard. While I was at Camp, I had the opportunity to be in the presence of such a kind human like Catherine Rainbow. Then, seeing Camp leaders celebrate that kindness by awarding her the character counts award was extra impactful. Leila was such an amazing counselor for me when I was younger. She was from Cape Town, South Africa and taught me all about her culture while I was at Camp. Leila was so interesting and had this lust for life that was so contagious. We totally connected and we stayed in touch for years. I actually got to see Leila again in 2013 when I visited South Africa with my husband. It was as if nothing had changed! These were two of MANY positive seafarer influences in my life.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t give up after the first try. Get up and try again. Put in the work and trust yourself.
Favorite mess hall entry song: Manic Monday
All-time favorite skit memory: When the staff announced we had a super night!
Favorite special event at Camp: The water-skiing show!
Devotion you best remember from Camp: We made “ATM” cards one summer and it really stuck with me: Appreciate This Moment. I often look back to that and smile because it is so true and important.
If you had to have an intro song every time you walked into a room what would it be? Good Times by In Paradise
What three words best describe you? Motivated. Kind. Unflappable.
What profession other than your own would you like to try? I’ve always wanted to participate in a cake-baking show!