Aloha Foundation Audio Series, Straight from our Counselors
During the 2019 summer, alumna Caroline Cunfer met with counselors at Aloha, Hive, and Lanakila to capture their firsthand accounts of camp’s impact. A talented interviewer with a graduate degree from the Oral History Master of Arts Program at Columbia University, Caroline understands the value of storytelling and skillfully guides our staff to articulate what matters most to them about camp. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in American Studies at Brown University with a Masters in Public Humanities.
We’ve chronicled their stories in a series of audio recordings and will share them with you here and on our blog.
Ross Cannon, a former Lanakila Unit Head, provides an example of how counselors are always looking for ways to ensure that campers are engaged, whether playing a game or watching. It is an anecdote that captures the full impact of the summer experience.
Clara Babbott Ward, a Hive Unit Head, discusses a time where she was both impressed by a camper, but also with herself for the ways she handled a meaningful and important experience.
Jeremy Cutler, Lanakila’s Assistant Director, talks about the ways in which camp grows the whole person, creating the conditions to allow them to flourish both at camp, but also in school, at home, and with their friends.
Margaret Pennoyer, a recent unit head at Hive, discusses watching the trajectory of her former camper becoming the leader she is today. From the homesickness her camper felt on the first days as a camper, to watching her eventually run the staff training sessions on homesickness as a unit head, it is powerful to watch the ways in which the Aloha Camps fosters leadership in its community.
Louisa Savage, a recent unit head at Aloha, shares two stories. First, she talks an experience of watching an older camper exemplify the Aloha values. Through watching this camper grow at camp, she is able to visualize the transition from camper to counselor, taking the lessons of Aloha and carrying it forth at camp, but also the world at large. Her second story connects nicely, discussing the power of surrounding ourselves outside of camp with people who represent our values, our way of being, and our definition of what it means to be a good friend.
Hive counselor Gen Greer recounts a time when as an Aloha camper she experienced deep disappointment and how she uses lessons learned then in her life as an adult now.
Lanakila counselor Dewey Schunk shares a story of a spontaneous song that caught on and helped a table full of campers transform what would have been a mundane and undesirable task into a chance to rock out and have fun!
“A two mile run in the middle of my day became getting to know this young woman who has very bright, very clear aspirations for how she wants to change the world.”
Aloha counselor, Libby Chamberlain discusses a meaningful interaction with a camper, where she entered the situation believing she would be providing mentoring and guidance to a camper in need. What she left the conversation with was something entirely different.
Oliver, a Lanakila counselor, shares a few stories on the power of teaching in the camp program. He touches on his own experience, blending the concept of friend and teacher, developing relationships of significance in the teaching process.
Babs, a Hive Unit Head, discusses the significance of camp relationships both at camp and in the outside world. Camp friendships are built on a core set of values and that includes our peers, as well as campers we had in our tents 6 years prior.
Eliza, a unit head at Aloha, discusses the concept of friendship as paramount in the ways our community members bring their best selves to help each other.
“It’s not about the things—it’s about the people.” Doug, a long time Lanakila counselor, shares his thoughts on the ways in which the camp program brings out the best in children. By allowing them to access their full selves through purposeful programming, they can challenge themselves within an environment of acceptance, fun, and learning.
Ayana, a bright, young counselor in Arts & Crafts at Aloha Camp, remembers a moment when nature brought the entire community to a quiet standstill and talks about when something scary became peaceful.
Growth asks us to make the choice to face down a challenge. Here, Tommy, a Lanakila counselor, shares a story of one such moment.
Gretchen, Aloha Hive’s talented program director, speaks of a moment that all parents face: seeing her child take a risk.
Marina, an Aloha counselor and alumna, talks about how camp was just the push she needed to conquer familiar to many of us.
Hal, a Lanakila swimming counselor, speaks of a time when the whole camp got behind a camper’s goal.
Zendelli, a Hive counselor, shares how finding a counselor she could connect to greatly improved her time as a camper—and impacts the kind of counselor she is today.
The Aloha counselor and Hulbert instructor talks about how a camper’s initiative can make all the difference in a camp experience, even if it’s from simply encouraging others to have fun.