A new camp season is upon us! And with this new summer of fun, our program is proud to welcome first time campers, first time families, first time staffers, and – this year – even first time directors. Rosalie Eck and Jesse Miller are joining our team as the new co-directors of Teen Adventure and Catoctin respectively. And while they’re new to their roles, they’re veterans of BYM Camps. Rosalie was originally a camper at Catoctin and TA and has spent her summers counseling and trip leading ever since, and Jesse has been working at Opequon from 2004 on.
But though Jesse and Rosie are well known to us, we thought we’d take the opportunity to briefly introduce them to you for those who might not be as acquainted. In the great Camp tradition, we had them play the question game to give you a glimpse into who they are. Fortunately, they did the hard work for us, and interviewed each other for your viewing pleasure. Check out their conversation below…
Rosie’s questions for Jesse
Rosie – Who is someone in your family you admire?
Jesse – I gotta give a shout out to my dad. He’s a large giant of a guy who I get my height from, yet what I remember most about my childhood relationship with him is his emotional warmth and sensitivity. He taught me that it was okay to cry and be emotional. When I got older I couldn’t help but find the incredible value of never having had masculinity be framed by the aggressive social norms that many young boys confront. As I continue work on gender issues and sexism, I know he gave me the important building blocks that I needed to start asking the right questions.
R – My dad is also a tall, warm type. Your dad sounds like a great role model. What was your first-ever day at camp like?
J – Believe it or not, after spending my entire adult life working in the BYM Summer Camp Program, I have never actually attended a summer camp myself. That’s right. I’m a camp director who was never a camper. That just wasn’t in the cards for me growing up, but I wish I had heard of these camps back then because I bet we could have made that happen. As it stands, I get to take part in building the experience for young folks that I know I would have wanted and enjoyed. I love that campers in our program are always having their minds blown.
R – I mostly remember that my first day was so so raucous and friendly. I imagine that tradition will continue under your guidance! Would you rather have corduroy skin or muffin hands? (Corduroy skin does not need to be dry-cleaned; muffin hands regenerate endless muffins, one flavor only)
J – After meditating on this for many sleepless nights, I’m going with muffin hands because – and hear me out on this – they provide opportunities that far exceed self-cannibalism. Hanging out with a buddy who missed breakfast? Good thing I have a set of muffin hands. Need to distract a roaming pack of wild dogs while you make a swift getaway? Muffin hands to the rescue. Diabetic camper with low blood sugar? Boom, muffin hands. Not all super heroes wear capes…
R – Boom, there it is.
Jesse’s Questions for Rosie
J – Alright, Rosie. Your turn to run the gauntlet. The friendly gauntlet of inquiry! First, which piece of knowledge would you like to have the end all beat all definitive answer to end debate forever?
R – I want to know: Does the moon actually affect how people act? We chalk up wacky days at school to the moon sometimes and I want to know if we are truly affected by a lunar pull.
J – Would certainly give credence to the word ‘lunacy’! I’m saying it does. Based on preciously 0 expertise and or my own scientific study. Next question: When you talk about why camp is awesome, which story do you find yourself telling the most?
R – I tell stories from solos at Teen Adventure – my camper’s group solo two summers ago tell of a daring plan to acquire enough water for the group while facing challenges of a snake and bees; my campers last summer surviving a drenching thunderstorm in hand-made shelters on their individual solos; and my own group solo as a camper where my friend Maria (now G-Staff at Opequon) facilitated a consent workshop in a gorgeous campsite where a tree was growing out of a rock. All of these stories highlight the initiative of campers owning the space to lead themselves.
J – That’s incredible. No matter how many times I hear stories about camper experiences I’m always amazed. A lot of them seem to center around overcoming adversity like your thunderstorm story or incredible bonding with one another. Man, camp rocks!
Okay, final question: What’s your life’s passion during the off season?
R – My passion in the off season is art-making. I love to draw, make comics and paint as a way of visualizing my thoughts and making things that bring me joy. Everyone is an artist.
J – I agree that everyone is an artist, and I try to foster that, but I’ve always been insanely jealous of visual artists like yourself. As a writer my art just isn’t impactful on the same level, but I sure love doing it. Here’s to your campers feeling encouraged to discover natural art and beauty in the wilderness!
And that about wraps it up for our Jesse – Rosie interview! Stay tuned for more info about all things camp, and as always if you have questions or comments feel free to contact our camp program manager at: email@example.com.