Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We Love Our Summer Staff, Part 4: Sava, Eve, & CiCi

We're back! Sorry for the week hiatus; I was out at two trainings that hopefully will be building an even better CFA for next year. In the interim, I had a BUNCH of our outstanding potential staff members send me their bios, so expect a few extra blog posts this week. Cool? Cool!

A fun fact about the three ladies featured today is that all of them are on deck to be new staff members for 2012! They have had some experiences out at camp and totally understand the amazing "family" feeling that is YMCA Camp Flaming Arrow. These girls bring a lot to the table and are excited to be on board for this summer!

First up is Sava, a fun San Antonio native who has been at CFA for years and years.

Sava, age 17, from San Antonio, TX

Age: 17 (18 by summer!)
College / University attending: Still in high school! Antonian College Prep.
State or country where you're living: Texas
Noteworthy Hobbies, Skills, or Talents: Knitting, baking, cartwheels, and making funny faces! 
What exciting thing(s) have you done this past year that you want campers to know about? I have joined the bowling team at my school! I’m pretty bad though… 
Favorite memory from CFA 2011: Hearing campers say that they couldn’t wait to come back next year and that they didn’t want to leave. 
Place on camp where you could most often be found last summer: Arapaho...
Favorite core value: CARING
Favorite snack time ice cream: Anything chocolate! (minus the banana ones)
Must-have items while working summer camp: WATER and patience 
Advice you'd give to summer campers: You don’t need a date to the dance!
What you're looking forward to most about this upcoming summer: Getting to spend all my time at CFA! 
Quote to live by:  "There are no great acts. Only small acts done with great love." –Mother Teresa

Next up is Eve, an outstanding young woman coming to us from beautiful Northern Ireland.

Eve, age 19, from Northern Ireland
College / University attending (and/or current job): Currently waitressing three jobs before heading to uni in September to study English Literature. Busy, but happy. 
State or country where you're living: Northern Ireland – lots of green and lots of rain!
Noteworthy Hobbies, Skills, or Talents: Horse riding!
What are you looking forward to most about this upcoming summer? Meeting lots of amazing people and making memories I will have forever!
What do you normally do with your summers? I usually work to earn some money and then travel a bit. Last year I went to Majorca with my best friends, and the summer before that I visited Dicky and MA at CFA. Previous summers have been spent surrounded by horses!!
Quotes to live by: “Do what you love, work as hard as you can, and make people happy.” “Just be happy and don’t be stupid” – Adele.

Next up is CiCi, who was a CIT last year at camp and is excited to be back for what will be her first year as a counselor.

Cilaya, or "Cici" as we know her; age 18, from Texas!
College/University attending: I am a full time student, and I am currently a High-School student but next year I will be furthering my studies at Texas Tech University by majoring in Music
Noteworthy Hobbies, Skills, or Talents: I can beat box and hum at the same time, I spend most of my time in extra curricular activities, I run cross country, I am a cheerleader, I am in Band, I am in Winter Guard, and I play Quidditch. Oh and I LOVE to dance.
What exciting thing(s) have you done this past year that you want campers to know about?: I went to Disney World for the 1st time :D
Favorite memory from CFA 2011: I loved it when I got to sit at the lunch table with Anthony and Sheeba, and they ate the table-ware like barbarians.
Place on camp where you could most often be found last summer: Honestly I was running around so much, you really had to look.
Favorite core value: Caring
Favorite snack time ice cream: Ice-cream Sandwich!!!!!
Must-have items while working summer camp: Sun-screen, band-aids, comfortable shoes, bathing supplies, a smile, bug spray, a flashlight, an appetite for smores, and a caring heart.
Advice you'd give to other counselors: Put a smile on your face, because smiles are contagious, and happiness is ALWAYS a great thing to spread around. A child's laughter is the thing that will keep you going and it makes everything a bit easier so strive for a laugh from your campers at all times!!!
Advice you'd give to summer campers: Guys have a blast!!!! When you're at camp, you are bound to have fun!
What you're looking forward to most about this upcoming summer: Meeting new people and seeing how I change campers' lives for the best.
Quote to live by: "The only person that can limit me is myself."

Thursday, March 1, 2012

We Love Our Summer Staff, Part 3: Joey and Rebekah

Howdy, howdy, again, CFA! Here is yet another installment of staff interviews, from two of our most charismatic, involved, and creative summer staff members of 2011. Enjoy!

Rebekah (on the right) - age 19 - living in San Antonio, TX
University attending and current job: Full Sail University and barista at Barnes & Noble Cafe 
Noteworthy Hobbies, Skills, or Talents: I'm not quite fluent, but very articulate in French.
What exciting thing have you done this past year that you want campers to know about?: I got accepted into the school of my dreams!
Favorite memory from CFA 2011: During Operation Purple week, Eskimo and Farrow had sort of a friendly rivalry going, but one night we had a joint embers. It got really deep, there wasn't a dry eye in the house, and it made everybody come together and realize that maybe we're not all that different.
Place on camp where you could most often be found last summer: High ropes course all day everyday, baby!
Favorite core value: Respect - respect yourself and others, and people will respect you back.
Favorite snack time ice cream: FUDGE BARS
Must-have items while working summer camp: Water bottle and a good attitude :)
Advice you'd give to other counselors: SAVE THE DRAMA FO' YO MAMA. The main focus at camp should be the children, not whatever's going on between the counselors. You can't have that on your mind (or other stressors outside of camp for that matter) and be able to give it your all to your campers, and they're what's most important.
Advice you'd give to summer campers: Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid to be yourself, don't be afraid of heights, don't be afraid of trying new foods or meeting new friends or doing things you haven't done before. You will change in the best way possible if you just let go of all your fears, and you're in the perfect place to do that.
What you're looking forward to most about this upcoming summer: Being an even better counselor than last year and changing even more lives for the better :)
Quote to live by: "No, it's not fair, but what makes earth feel like Hell is our expectation that it should feel like Heaven. Earth is earth."
Joey (in the middle!) - age 23 - studying in Muncie, Indiana
University/Job: Ball State University, Marketing intern at ACE
Noteworthy skills/hobbies/talents: I really enjoy taking photos of awkward moments making it into art. Photography has been a hobby of mine for 3 years and it is what makes me happy. Now, most people say that singing is a talent of mine but I just love to do it because it makes others happy. Other skills I'm known for are my abilities to sew, draw, edit, write and do computer programming.
Exciting things you've done this year: This year, I spent New Year's Eve for the first time in NYC. Amazing! Also, I am a registered reading partner where I volunteer at elementary schools and tutor kids in reading. I recently just participated in Photo Week DC where I take pictures on my iPhone of art around the city.
Favorite memory of CFA 2011: My favorite memory of camp was during operation purple week. Watching the transformation of my campers in Ottawa go from silent to crazy, wild and amazing was the best feeling ever. What I can remember most is watching Luke become a better person. They would go running early in the morning to mount vesper singing Mulan "We are Men". Loved these guys.
Place on camp you could always be found last year: You can always find me in the craft shed, singing loudly and scaring the horses. Haha.
Favorite core value: Faith. I challenged myself to face several fears of minds including horseback riding and high ropes. All I had to lean on was faith in myself.
Favorite snack: Orange and Cream Bar. Yum. I used to beg everyone for their bar.
Must-have items for working at summer camp: Water, Water and Water. Comfy shoes, swimwear, sun screen, boots for Thursday and did I say water?
Advice you'd give to counselors: Challenge yourself, be relatable, and be crazy fun. You are there to find yourself, make the best experience ever for the campers and be what you always wanted to be. Think like a kid, act like a kid, be the kid. This is a tool to motivate yourself and the campers. Have a blast!
Advice you'd give to the campers:  Be a kid and go crazy, but be respectful. Challenge yourself through Raggers and make a difference. Be a part of the LIT and CIT program.
Looking forward to: Being on Ad Staff and seeing the old and new campers.
Quote to live by: "Being different isn't a mistake or judgement. Its having a gift to express to others" — me.