Skip to main content

You are here

Frances Yount Perkins

Professor of Film & Television

Years as a Camper: 1982-1985

Years as a Staff Member/Positions held:

1986 = Junior Counselor/Motorboating

1988 = Senior Counselor/Motorboating, Family Camp

1989 = Senior Counselor/Assistant Head CIII, Family Camp

1992 = Head of Special Events, Head Counselor at Family Camp 

1993 = Head Counselor at Family Camp

1995 = Videographer

1996 = shot graduate thesis film at camp for a week in July

Current Profession and Title/Years in role: Professor of Film & Television – 17 years

What lead you into a career in media and then in higher education? What aspects of working with young people most resonate with you? 

I’ve always been a film geek, so that translated into a BA in Film Studies and a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production.  An MFA is a terminal degree (PhD equivalent in the Arts), which means I can teach at the college level.  After working as a media producer for several years, I started teaching to have a steady “day job” while having a family and pursuing media projects with my husband, who is also a filmmaker and professor. I honestly never thought about my work at Camp and my work with college students, but Camp definitely prepared me to be a professor!  Being in front of a room of students, no matter what size, never fazes me – it’s easier than doing a silly skit in front 500+ people in the Mess Hall.  I taught public speaking for 7 years, never having taken a class, because Camp gave me years of experience talking in front of groups.  

What do you believe have been some of your greatest personal and professional accomplishments? Is there a goal toward which you are currently working?

Combining professional media experiences with student mentoring has always been incredibly satisfying.  For years I’ve produced short films with crews of college students, giving them important hands-on experience while also pursuing my own creative work.  

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?

Judy Bright, Lynn Moss, Wendy Wilmot – the list goes on and on!  Each woman was dynamic and inspiring and helped shape me into the person I am today. 

Do you see similarities between your current role and as a summer staff member? Did your time on staff help prepare you for your career path?

Working at Seafarer prepared me for LIFE, not just my career.  Skills in collaboration, leadership, problem-solving, and compromise were taught and fostered in an incredibly positive and safe environment.  Those experiences are gifts that I will never forget, and never take for granted.  

Favorite Camp meal: Breakfast!

Favorite Mess Hall entry song: Three Bears

All-time favorite skit memory: Being in a recurring evening programs skit the Summer of 1992 called “The Cute Boy Report.”  It was the first time the campers’ favorite skit of the summer wasn’t from the Land or Sea.  Made us feel like rock stars!

Favorite special event at Camp: We did a Mind/Body/Spirit day Summer 1992 that was really fun.  Campers rotated through stations, everything from meditation in the Taylor Lodge to water balloon wars.  It was unique, a one-time event, but it really stands out for me. 

Devotion you best remember from Camp: I had a whole book of devotions I copied down over many years – I still have it!  Reading back through it, seeing my handwriting change over the years, is very special.  So, not just one devotion is my favorite, they are all my favorite.  

If you had to have an intro song every time you walked into a room what would it be? “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire.  We had a motorboating end-of-summer party on the Joy Boy in 1986, and we all sang and danced to that song.  It’s been a favorite ever since!

Do you have a hidden talent? Whistling – I can whistle anything. 

What three words best describe you? Loud, energetic, upbeat (I can blame Camp for those things!)

What profession other than your own would you like to try? Podcaster.

What would you eat if you could only have one food for the rest of your life? Apples.