Directors Spotlight: Patrick Wilson – Adventure Director

Monday, May 14th, 2018

We caught up with our Adventure Director Pat Wilson recently to chat to him about our Adventure Program, his role at camp and what he gets up to during the year when camp’s not in session.  We are very excited to have Pat returning for another year and we know our campers will be too!!

1. How long have you worked at camp?
I’ve been working at Camp Birch Hill for two years, with this summer being my third.
2. What is involved in the role of being the camp adventure director?
Working at the adventure section of camp is all about getting kids to have fun while stepping outside their comfort zone. A lot of the work we do there involves getting the campers to take steps, big or small, towards doing something they may have never done before. Also, safety is our primary concern so making sure the counselors and campers understand the equipment, the commands, and how these factors come together in order to make it one of the safer areas around camp! 
3. Can you tell us a bit of what the adventure program has to offer?
The adventure program has something for everyone. There are a range of different high and low elements that allow the campers to pick exactly what they want to challenge themselves on. Taking both of these courses provides the full experience that camp has to offer but each course (High Ropes and Low Ropes) has enough to keep campers engaged during each session. The focus is to build up from the easier to difficult elements throughout each session. The final day consists of using my personal favorite element, the Zip Line!
4. Why do you think the adventure program is important for children?
My first thought is just the amount of fun that campers can have while they participate in these courses! Our counselors do a wonderful job of setting a story to each of the obstacles which helps the campers become more involved with each challenge. Additionally, the personal growth that can happen on these courses is amazing. There’s so much that campers can learn about themselves or overcome while they are there. It doesn’t matter whether they complete the element, make it to the top of the tree, or only get tied into the rope. Each camper sets their own goals and works toward them with the help of our counselors.
5. What did you study at university?
I studied Outdoor Education at Johnson State College.
6. What do you do during the year when you are not working at camp?
This year I worked with emotionally and behaviorally struggling students at various schools throughout the Burlington, Vermont area.
7. What kind of exciting things do you have in store for us this summer?
A couple of new surprises in each of the courses to make sure that our campers who are familiar with the elements can still have a challenge. And making sure our narratives and goals for each element really help the campers feel invested into the courses and their personal goals!
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us Pat!  To see Pat in action and our campers enjoying our adventure program check out the photos below.