Current Profession and Title/Years in role:
Currently, I am a physician assistant student at Wake Forest University. The program is two years long and I started soon after leaving the Army and will graduate this summer. I’d really love to be able to volunteer a few weeks in the infirmary during the summers.
How were you first introduced to Camp?
I grew up in Greenville and started working spring and fall weekends in high school as a lifeguard at the base of the zipline. Some of those days were spent freezing cold in the water at the bottom of the zipline waiting for brave campers to take the plunge.
I worked as a JC in Camp II for two summers and then transitioned to working as a UA for powerboating and fishing. I was eventually invited to work at Seafarer and did fishing and powerboating there as well.
What have you been up to since leaving Camp?
I worked as a naturalist on an island off the Georgia coast and then joined the army and became a Green Beret and a medic. I was in the army for six years, split between North Carolina and Colorado. Earning the Green Beret was a big accomplishment that I worked hard for, it was something I wanted to do even back while I was working as a cabin counselor.
Now I’m a physician assistant student and I’ve been doing clinical rotations around the state. I’m working toward a focus in emergency medicine which works well with my army background. Once I’m done with school in May I’d love to move out to Carteret County which is close to some of my best friends who are also part of the Camp family.
How do the values or skills you learned at Camp show up in your everyday work and/or personal life?
Camp helped me to understand that you are never too old for good ol’ fashion fun. It seems like now more than ever I must intentionally set aside time to just have fun with my friends and I think Camp helped me learn how to do that.
Camp also did a wonderful job of introducing the concept of teamwork- of building a team and getting the right people- then you can really do anything. The people matter more than a specific skill.
There’s lots of overlap between Camp’s core values and the values of the military and medicine. Responsibility to your teammates and your community as well as caring for others and doing what’s right for the people in your life.
Is there a person or a situation that had a huge influence on you while you were at Camp?
Mike Askew, of course. Mike’s my hero. He is one of the reasons I was able to participate in many of the unique opportunities that Camp has to offer. He’s always been an advocate for me. You look back at your life and there are people that are so instrumental to your growth. If I am ever to make something of my life, however unlikely, it will be only because of the great people like Mike and many others who paved the way and provided that path to success.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Cherish those early mornings on the Sea Gull pier and especially cherish every Seafarer sunset. Although the days are long in the summer and you are so exhausted, you will yearn for that feeling the whole rest of the year so just enjoy it. Believe it or not, when you are having a rough day, thinking back to those long days at Camp will be what cheers you up.
All-time favorite skit memory:
Hayes Permar did a full week of skits leading up to the dance when we had the Chairman of the Board performing. It was quite a buildup and he delivered.
What profession other than your own would you like to try?
High school science teacher
What would you eat if you could only have one food for the rest of your life?
Bill’s Hot Dogs
What are you watching on Netflix?
I’m currently rewatching Ozark in preparation for the new season – it’s great
Favorite book or podcast?
Stranger in the Forest by Eric Hansen