Years as a Camper: 3 (Cabins 26, 33 and 40) and 1 year as a CILT (cabin 5)
Years as a Staff Member/Position(s) held: 5 years (4 years as a cabin counselor in Camps 1 and 4 on the Sailing Staff, and 1 year as a Sailing UA)
Current Profession and Title: Recruiter at The Walt Disney Company
How do the values or skills learned at Camp show up in your everyday work or personal life?
One of the best lessons I learned at Camp was “If you can’t get out of it, get into it.” I go into work every day ready to put my all into everything I do. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't, but I know I've given it my all.
I will never forget Sharon Jenkins Padgett's motivational speech about eggs for breakfast-it was about “zapping” people vs. “sapping” people and she just happened to use eggs for breakfast as the subject matter. The idea was that the energy (or lack of energy) which you put into your actions or words is contagious, so how do you want others to walk away from you feeling? Combining this lesson with the previous one has always stuck with me. I even made little signs for myself that hangs in my office with those reminders!
Working for a company that has a mission to provide magical experiences to each and every guest, I always think back to the lesson that was reinforced every summer between sessions: We may have just completed a session and now we have to start over, but to each of these campers that are arriving soon, this is a new experience. As a Recruiter, I interview hundreds of people to come work for Disney. I may be repeating the same questions but to each of my candidates, this is a new experience. When I was working in the Park, it may have been the millionth time I danced my way down Main Street USA but to each Guest, that may be the first time they are seeing that performance. Keeping this in mind in my day-to-day life has really helped me keep things in perspective and keep things fresh for each person with whom I interact.
Another huge life lesson I learned at camp is the value of true friendship. We always say that Seafarer and Sea Gull friends are unlike any other friends, and that statement is so true. I came to Camp as a child with very low self-esteem, but the friends I (like Jenny Daniel Morton, Sandy Moore Zapp, Sarah Bryce Tomlin, Emily Parrish Smith, among so many others), including counselors (like Frances Yount Perkins, Lynn Moss, and Keeley Anderson Pollard), helped me lift my head and see my own self-worth. They showed me those true friends will stand by you through thick and thin, will be the ones that provide a lifetime of memories, and will always be there to lift you up and support you. I value true friends because of what I learned at Camp about what friendship really is.
What person or situation influenced you most at Camp and why did they/it impact you?
It is hard to identify one situation or person who most influenced me at camp as my overall experience was influential in so many ways. However, there are three people who made a significant impact on me:
Lynn Moss was the first person from Seafarer I met when she jumped on our bus to welcome us to Camp. I had never seen or met anyone who exuded kindness, excitement, and positivity as she did. It was at that moment that I knew I was arriving in a place unlike any other.
Jenny Daniel Morton and I were attached at the hip/brain from the moment we met aboard a powerboat. Having her as a best friend showed me just how wonderful a girlfriend can be to create memories, to share the excitement, to be goofy, to know with full confidence that there is someone out there who always has my back, and most importantly, with whom I can be myself.
Frances Yount Perkins was my first counselor and Sandy Moore Zapp was my first friend at Camp. I was a nervous wreck as this was my first time at sleep-away Camp, and I was coming off a school year in which I had struggled socially and emotionally. My self-esteem was at its lowest point and my self-confidence was non-existent. Because of them, my life turned around.
Favorite Camp food: Vanilla ice cream on a knife, Fudgesicles, and grilled cheese sandwiches!
Something with which you are obsessed: Kate Middleton
What is your guilty pleasure? Hallmark movies
What profession other than your own would you like to try?
I would love to be famous as the voice of a beloved and timeless Disney character. In my head, I am already awesome at this, but in reality I know the hard work and time it takes as well as the confidence to handle rejection, so I'll just continue being an awesome voice-over actor in my imagination.
Who is your hero?
Walt Disney for his creativity, determination, and unwavering commitment to his family, his visions and his dreams. Ellen Degeneres for her humor, generosity, bravery, and life goal to make the world a better place through laughter and smiles. J.K. Rowling for her imagination and perseverance.