Years as a Camper: 4
Years as a Staff Member/Position(s) held: 5; Motorboating (junior/senior) counselor, Motorboating UA, Camp 4 Camper Services
Current Profession and Title: Commentary and Opinion Editor for Business Insider
How do the values or skills learned at Camp show up in your everyday work or personal life?
The confidence I learned at Camp helps me interact with people who write op-eds and commentary pieces. Some of the people I edit are incredibly smart academics, CEOs of large companies, or high-ranking public officials. I need confidence to tell these people to change or delete something they’ve written in order to strengthen or clarify their argument. I learned that confidence at camp.
You come into contact with a lot of people at Camp who have different viewpoints or opinions on life, how to run an activity, or what have you. Being able to open myself up to new viewpoints and communicate with people clearly no matter their opinion is something I developed at camp and is incredibly valuable in my current job.
I was terribly disorganized prior to becoming a Motorboating UA, but being in charge of the US Powerboating program helped me figure out how to be disciplined about details. Having to get ~150 campers through the class, submit their paperwork, and manage a staff of a dozen or so instructors is pretty good training for juggling multiple writers, pieces to edit, and publication deadlines.
What person or situation influenced you most at Camp and why did they/it impact you?
I wasn’t a standout on any particular activity as a camper and somewhat stumbled into Motorboating because achieving First Mate also meant you got your Powerboating Merit Badge for Boy Scouts. As a Trainee and a junior counselor on Motorboating I was solid, if unexceptional and a bit unsure of what I was doing. But in my first year as a senior counselor, the chief at the time — Sam Yurow — really helped me develop as a counselor and a person. Sam gave me opportunities to lead junior staff, helped me try different parts of the program — like driving the Inboards — to become versatile, and basically helped me go from unexceptional to the level needed to become a UA the next year. I credit Camp for helping me find my voice as a person and feel comfortable in my own skin, but I credit Sam for giving me the confidence to be a leader.
Favorite Camp food: Any of the leafy greens.
Favorite book: I’m terrible at picking favorites, but I really enjoyed my most recent read: “Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between.” It’s a new release that tells the story of the fight in Los Angeles back in the 1950s over the building of Dodger Stadium and the people who were displaced by the construction.
Favorite Camp memory? Doing the “Van Down by the Ferry” skit ripping off Chris Farley’s Saturday Night Live motivational speaker sketch.
Favorite place to eat on time-off? M&M’s in Oriental if I had to pick a restaurant, but I always preferred grilling at friends’ houses in the area over any restaurant.
Favorite New York restaurant? Dudley’s in the Lower East Side
Favorite sports team: The Atlanta Braves
What are you watching on Netflix? The Last Dance, of course, and ZeroZeroZero on Amazon.
Follow Bob on Twitter @RobertBryan4