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Annie Whitney

Harvard Law Student

Years as a Camper: Nine as a camper and one as a CILT (with a handful of Mother-Daughter Weekends along the way!) – and most recently, a week at EMBARK Family Camp!

Years as a Staff Member/Position(s) held: Two on Sailing and one as Camper Services of Camp IV

Current Profession and Title: Student,  Harvard Law School 

How do the values or skills learned at Camp show up in your everyday work or personal life?

Among so many life lessons that Seafarer taught me, two stand out as particularly important to my academic and career path. The first is the ability to live far from home at a young age. After graduating from high school (but not before another summer at camp, of course!), I left for three years overseas—time split between France, Belgium, Jordan, Egypt, and Greece.

I wholly credit my ability to find my footing and dive into these experiences to my many years at Seafarer. Going to sleepaway camp at 7 takes the edge off moving an ocean away at 18. Camp teaches us to cope with homesickness, take care of ourselves, look out for others, find community, build a home, and embrace adventure.

The second is a deep commitment to going into “helping” occupations. At Camp, we learn that a life worth living is one of service. My Seafarer friends more than any community I know are pursuing service-centered careers—education, pediatric medicine, social work, to name but a few.

I found my calling to serve in working with refugee and asylum-seeking populations. I have volunteered at refugee camps in Greece, Italy, Egypt, and the United States, most recently at an asylum-seeker shelter on the US-Mexico border. I am currently attending Harvard Law School and hope to use my legal education to learn how to advocate on behalf of those fleeing persecution.

Although a refugee camp seems leagues away from a summer camp, the lessons learned at Seafarer and Sea Gull directly translate to working in humanitarian settings. You have to work hard, be positive, identify and remedy immediate problems, and above all, believe the best in people!

What person or situation influenced you most at Camp and why did they/it impact you?

The summer before ninth grade, Ali Hoffman was my counselor. The transition to high school can be marked by uncertainty and lack of self-esteem, especially for teenage girls. Ali’s lessons to trust in ourselves, practice grace, and enjoy the ride were messages that prepared us for our next steps and that have resonated ever since!

Favorite Camp food:
The ever-elusive Choco Taco, especially as dessert after real tacos!

Favorite book:
The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

What are you watching on Netflix?

What would be your intro song for every time you walked into a room?
The last 48 seconds of Chiquitita by ABBA

What is your guilty pleasure?
A GIANT spoonful of Nutella

What profession other than your own would you like to try?
Owning a bookshop with a cafe, a fireplace, and big comfy leather chairs

Who is your hero?
Amal Clooney