CJ attended camp from 1979 to 1987, two years each at Colony, Reservation, Frontier and Pioneer Village. He was a junior counselor for a year in Frontier. “The best part of camp, especially for city kids, was learning to appreciate the outdoors and forming bonds with new people. I’ve remained friends with some campers after all these years. Every kid looked forward to going to camp.”
“We had inner city kids, kids from private schools and many came from all around the country. It was a great mix of kids from different walks of life.” There were also exchange counselors from other countries including Poland, England, and Australia who were just a few years older than him. They served as role models in terms of learning how to treat everyone with respect. He learned what kind of behavior helped foster connections with others and, conversely, what actions prevented friendships from developing.
CJ’s appreciation for the environment was a result of actually experiencing nature at camp. “We built fires, cooked our food over them and even learned to shoot a bow and arrow. I carried my love for the outdoors when I moved to California and I attribute that passion to my time at camp.”“Not a summer has gone by that I haven’t wished that I could be back at camp.”
CJ now lives in Hawaii where he is the Grants Administrator of the Kohala Center.