Summer Staff Training Week

Summer is finally here!  It was a quick transition into summer camp mode this year with field instructor interns leaving Everett on Friday or Saturday and new summer staff moving in on Sunday.  This summer we are fortunate to have 8 summer camp counselors and 5 teaching interns. 

Camp counselors stay in the dorms with the kids during our residential summer camps, shuffle kids to meals and classes, lead evening programming, and provide the fun songs and games through the summer.  Adrian and Andrea, our two lead camp counselors are excited to return for another summer.  Katie, another returner, is joined with new counselor staff Kari, Tori, Dasen, Susan, and Gretchen.  Each counselor brings a unique background of experiences to the table.  Everyone is full of energy and I think it’s going to be a great summer!

The teaching intern staff is primarily responsible for teaching “field trip” junior ranger programs in the park.  We also teach programming for the Farm Camp and Survivor Camp residential programms among other things.  I, Erin, am excited to stay on staff and continue with my second summer.  I am joined by Julia, one of the field instructor interns from the year, and new staff Chad, Erin, and Mary. 

We are led by our fearless camp coordinator, Emily.  Although it is Emily’s first summer as camp coordinator, Emily has held various positions at the EEC starting in 2006.  Her positive spirit and expertise will lead us through a successful summer season.  Jen, Lori, and Jess, the education specialists, are also involved in overseeing the summer activities.

Training week has been a whirlwind of meeting new people, reviewing schedules for the summer camps, visiting off-site locations, learning emergency procedures, and of course eating lots of candy.  One of my favorite parts of the week was our teambuilding session, where counselors and teaching interns completed a number of “get-to-know-you” tasks.  The following pictures should give you an accurate depiction of the different challenges…

Challenge 1: Build the tallest tower. Materials: One calendar and a meter of tape. Time limit: 10 mintues. Winners (from left to right): Gretchen, Mary, Chad, and Adrian.

Chellenge 2: Board Walk. Objective: Race to the finish line as a team. Rules: One team member must be blindfolded and only one team member can speak.
Pictured above: Erin, Mary, Dasen, and Andy.

Winners of the Boardwalk challenge: Chad, Tori, Katie, and Susan.

Challenge 3: Adapted Boardwalk. Objective: Race to the finish line. Rules: One team member must be blindfolded, one team member must face backwards, and no team members may talk. Pictured above: Andrea, Mary, Susan, and Andy.  This team communicated through a series of grunts.


Later in the week, staff trained on the evening program Wacky Olympics.  Each Olympic event emphasizes teamwork, unity, and fun!  Camp counselors battled against the teaching interns.  Here are some pictures of the Olympic events…

Wacky Challenge: Foot Race. Objective: Race to the finish line. Rules: Team members’ feet must be touching at all times. If foot chain is broken, all team members must return to start and begin again.

Race to the finish! Camp Counselor team (foreground) was ahead for most of the race until their feet came apart! The Teaching Intern team (background) had a slower start but pulled it together for a victory! Slow and steady wins the race!


Toward the end of the week, staff visited the Spicy Lamb Farm.  Spicy Lamb is one of the Countryside Conservancy farms in the National Park.  Chef campers will have the opportunity to visit the farm later in the summer, so staff went to get a preview this week.  The owner of the farm allowed us all to hold a two day old baby lamb!  It was adorable.

Me (Erin) holding the baby lamb at the Spicy Lamb farm.

Andrea holding the lamb at the Spicy Lamb farm.


Next week campers arrive for the first official week of camp; Theater Camp with the Magical Theater Company.  Stay tuned for updates next week.  Rest up summer staff members, the kids arrive next week!

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2 Responses to Summer Staff Training Week

  1. Stacey Heffernan says:

    Fantastic review of the Summer Camp training week, Erin! Liked the pictures! We are going to have a great summer, because our team is so strong and talented!!

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