Staff of 2018: Returning Counselors
Monday, May 28th, 2018
Happy Memorial Day Birch Hillers! In just four weekends camp will begin. To celebrate, we are going to be introducing you to the Camp Birch Hill Staff of 2018 every Monday in the lead up to opening day. We know you’re all itching to hear if your favorite counselor will be back again, so to start off this epic blog series will be our returning counselors. So without further ado, here they are! YAHOO!
Hi everyone, my name is Kate. This will be my second year as a counselor at Birch Hill, but my 8th year being a part of the Birch Hill Family. I’m currently a sophomore at Barnard College in New York City and have just recently declared my major of Urban Studies with a concentration in Anthropology! I love to explore the city, go to cool restaurants, concerts, coffee shops, and see public art around the city. I just recently got back from Mexico where I tried mangoes with Tajin for the first time (yum!), and I will be traveling to Nicaragua in May to build a school in a remote village after fundraising $30,000 with a club I’m involved with on campus. I can’t wait for another summer of stargazing, friendship bracelet making, Snack On That classes, and more!! YAHOOOO!
Hello! My name is Owen and I have been at Camp Birch Hill for the last 7 summers and am really looking forward to this one! I was a camper for five very important years and I am happy that Birch Hill has been a fantastic influence on who I have become today. As a counselor, I see it as my job to carry on the incredible enthusiasm, creativity, and overall spirit that makes camp so special for so many of us. The last two summers I have been the counselor for campers from ages six to eleven and I have enjoyed it all and learned a lot in the process. I also consider myself lucky to be an adventure counselor where I get to watch and encourage campers to push their comfort zone and succeed at things they never thought they would! Outside of Camp, I am an undergraduate student at Boston University studying environmental sciences. The natural environment is extremely important to me and I spend a significant amount of my time (when I am not studying or enjoying nature) working to protect our world from climate change through activism. I think that part of the reason that I am so passionate about nature is that my family always made spending time outdoors a priority while I was growing up and I have loved it ever since. I also enjoy playing Ultimate Frisbee, camp fires, live music (sometimes in the form of camp songs sung around a camp fire), and traveling. I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to go on a road trip from Los Angeles to Boston this summer and still be home in time for Camp. I can hardly wait to get started meeting all of the new friends I will make this summer and making all sorts of new memories that I know I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
My name is Emmy McDonnell, I was a camper at Camp Birch Hill for four years followed by a year of teen adventure and this will be my second year as a counselor. I am a Leadership major at Emerson College in Boston and some of my hobbies include playing music, road trips, hiking, painting, hanging out with fellow returning counselor Mitzi, and being a DJ at my schools radio station. I can’t wait to get back to my home away from home for another great summer!
Hey everyone! My name is Matt D’Anieri and I have been itching to get back to Birch Hill ever since I said my goodbyes at the end of last summer. After spending five years here as a camper, one year on Teen Adventure, and the last two years as a counselor, I honestly feel weird thinking about spending my summer anywhere else. It just wouldn’t be right. So yeah, I’ve basically been counting down the days until I get to drive up scenic Route 11 and get back in the 03855.
In the meantime, I’ve been studying at Tufts University, where I also compete in cross country and track. These activities keep me super busy, but if camp has taught me anything, it’s that you should always make time for your friends. With that in mind, almost immediately after camp I drove down south with a few co-counselors to watch the total solar eclipse! It was the most awe-inspiring, life-changing natural phenomenon I have ever experienced, and I can see myself chasing more of these extremely infrequent events in the distant future. I love being outside in general, and have gained a lot of experience in camping and hiking over the past few years. I will take advantage of the rare free weekend to escape the city and make a quick drive to the White or Green Mountains with good friends. This year I have also gone to Alabama, California, and Canada, and I made one trip driving from Boston to Missouri and back in 48 hours. Basically I try to travel as much as I can while still being a student.
Some other things I am passionate about include but are not limited to: free samples, skipping rocks, searching for moose, any and all sports but mainly Rampshot™, cooking, stacking rocks, climbing things (see photo), and seeking out America’s greatest donut shops.
This summer I can’t wait to teach classes in landsports, watersports, Snackonthat, and any RAD personal choice activities that my mind conjures up! Most of all, I look forward to both seeing the familiar faces of returning staff/campers AND sharing the hype with newcomers and showing them why camp is so special. Just writing this makes opening day feel closer and closer. I can already see the sunlight shimmering on the surface of Marchs Pond. I can already smell the pine needles in Cove. I can already taste the savory goodness of hot taquitos… It’s gonna be the best summer ever!
My name is Chad Olivieri and this is my second year as a counselor here at Camp Birch Hill. I was never a camper myself, but always wanted to be. I absolutely loved my first year as a counselor and I’m so excited for this summer!! Last summer I taught all kinds of land sports, from basketball to baseball to dodgeball. I also spent a lot of my time learning every single camper’s name from all three sessions last summer, which I plan to do again this summer.
I’m originally from Nashua, New Hampshire. I just finished my sophomore year at Boston College, and I am studying psychology and communication. I love being outside as much as possible, running, hiking, and playing any sport with a ball. This past year I took a trip to the Grand Canyon (was amazing) and I’m planning a road trip to Yellowstone in Wyoming before camp starts. As for the rest of the year, I’ve just been busy studying and being an RA. I cannot wait to come back to camp!!
Hello! My name is Kevin Little and this will be my third summer working as a counselor at Camp Birch Hill. I was never a camper, but after spending my last two summers at camp wish I was! I grew up in the small town of Pepperell, Massachusetts and currently live in the even smaller town of Townsend, Massachusetts. I was a member of the Parker Charter School’s class of 2013 and Bridgewater State Universities class of 2018, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education. Some of my favorite activities include skiing, mountain biking, boxing, camping, and canoeing/kayaking (or as the intelligent minds at camp call it, newnew yaking). While at camp you can almost always find me biking, down at paintball, belaying at the rock wall or of course at the waterfront! I hope everyone’s looking forward to massive evening programs, crazy cove announcements, hilarious lip syncs, creative S day games, eating way too much at lunch, rainy day rec hall festivities and much more, because I am! Here’s a picture of me (taken by a camper in photography class) throwing up some finger guns at the waterfront!
I’m Lucia, and this will be my second year as a counselor at Camp Birch Hill! I go to Florida State University and I’m studying biology and creative writing but am planning on spending my life doing neither of those as a career and actually working with non profits focusing on social justice issues and education while hopefully traveling to the most exotic and thrilling places. Speaking of traveling, I love it- mainly meeting an array of diverse and influential people, and having life altering experiences (both of which also happen at camp)! My near future travel destinations will hopefully be Australia and New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Iceland, and a cross country trip throughout the US in a beat up van that I’ll learn how to fix. Since I left camp last summer I’ve been working as a Resident Assistant in Housing at FSU, and as an Intern for a non profit that is my heart and soul called PeaceJam while taking painful biology classes. I am so ready and so excited to take a step back from school and start the summer camp activities, mainly splashing around at the water front, and tender moments by the camp fire! For most people it’s hard to look back and be able to point at one exact experience or one moment that has truly impacted who you are as a person; camp has given me many of these and I can’t wait for more to come!
My name is Galen Higgins; I am from Tunbridge, Vermont. I graduated from Lyndon State College with a B.S. in Exercise Science, and work as a carpenter in the off-season. I have worked as a counselor at Camp Birch Hill for 3 years. I am returning this year as an assistant director, as well as a head counselor for the boy’s side of camp. My role is to assist the directors with planning camp schedules and events, consult counselors with any questions or concerns, and act as a substitute for a class or counselor if need be. Working at Camp Birch Hill has shown me the importance of a summer camp experience. With new formed friendships and memories that last a lifetime, adventurous experiences in a safe environment, and wise lessons to be learned; the Camp Birch Hill experience is priceless.
Hi, I’m Cleo Woodcock. I have spent many summers at Birch Hill, first as a camper, and then as a counselor. I am in the midst of moving from Seattle, WA to New Hampshire for the summer, and then somewhere else that is currently TBD. Originally, I am from the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, and I moved to Seattle in 2012 to attend the University of Washington, where I studied Spanish and Environmental Science. I have been living here, working in beaver management and a restaurant ever since I graduated. I love the outdoors, and I really enjoyed studying and understanding my surroundings in school, I love seeing natural processes at work around me and sharing that with everyone at camp. Being outdoors is usually great, and I think it becomes even more fun (and safer) the more you understand. I love to observe all of the things going on in the woods and at the lake at camp. Every summer, we find new things to look at, identify and appreciate. This summer, I will also be working on building a food garden at Birch Hill, in hopes that next summer we can plant, maintain, harvest and eat from our very own garden! Maybe it goes with out saying, but my main program area is Nature Studies and Orienteering! You will also find me around camp in the arts and crafts pavilion, enjoying one of my favorite hobbies in Fun With Cooking and down on the girls’ side as a Head of Girls. I have been at Birch Hill almost every summer since ’04, and it is one of my favorite places in the world. I am so excited to be back at camp this summer with the whole Birch Hill family (and my brother, Owen)! I can’t wait to see you all!
Hi everyone! My name is Jacob and I am from Norwood, MA. I just finished my senior year of high school and I will be attending Southern New Hampshire University this fall with a major in computer science/game design, and I will also be running for the Cross Country team. Some of my hobbies include running, gaming, skateboarding, trying new food, adventuring to new places, and also just being outside in general. This will be my second summer as a counselor, but I was also a camper at Birch Hill for 4 years and couldn’t be anymore excited to be back! Two of my favorite places at camp are definitely the high ropes course and also the waterfront during a beautiful sunset (which happens a lot more than you think). I am really looking forward to playing lots of Birch Ball this summer and seeing lots of old friends but also making new ones along the way. Part of the reason why I think that camp is so special is because it allows you to express yourself in ways that you may not be able to otherwise and also pushes you out of your comfort zone.
Hi my name is Thomas, 2018 will be my tenth year at Camp Birch Hill. I started as a camper in Cabin 1 back in 2008, made my way up through the ranks to CIT, spent one year in Birch Hill’s amazing Teen Adventure program, and am now in my third year as a counselor at the most special place on Earth. The taller, faster, stronger version of me is my twin brother, Matt. Through our years here we have developed a fascination with Birch Hill and New Durham history, as well as an understanding of the tangle of unmarked trails and geographic features around camp through the miles we log every morning as runners. If you want to swap old stories by the fire, imagine what camp was like a hundred years ago under the stars, or go exploring up some big hills, we’re your guys!
I am best known at camp for making the end of session videos, running anywhere and everywhere around camp, and ABSOLUTELY KILLING IT out on the boats. My favorite thing about camp is the sense of rightness you get with yourself and what you are doing when you are at camp. You don’t exactly know when it’s going to come up, it might be when you smell the fresh grass on a morning walk to cove, you hold hands with your best friends during Chasing Cars at the dance, you sit and watch a sunset on the water, you do something you’ve never done before (or your friend does!), or you simply feel the genuine positivity of everyone around you. Whatever it is, it brings me back every summer.
My name is Alex Crompton. I grew up in the beautiful Killington, Vermont and am currently a rising junior at Babson College. There I play varsity soccer as a center forward and also am on the dance team. I have always enjoyed the outdoors and often find myself cliff jumping, rock climbing and camping with my friends in Vermont. Vermont is a special place to me and anytime I meet someone from the green mountains when I am outside the state they immediately have my heart. I love reality and Science fiction TV shows. Some of my favorite shows are Survivor, I have made my audition tape and will be sending it in any day now, The Bachelor, The 100, Prison Break, Lost, Breaking bad, The Amazing Race and The Voice. This will be my second year as a counselor at Camp Birch Hill. I fell in love with the camp last year and have been telling stories and thinking about last summer all year so I can’t wait to go back for some more magic.
My name is Chris Evers and this is my 3rd year at Birch Hill. Prior to working here I had never set foot on the grounds of an overnight camp. However, I fell in love with this place immediately, and am excited to be back for another summer. This past year I completed an associates at Bristol Community College, and will be moving to Colorado in the fall to further my studies towards a career in secondary education. My hobbies include playing disc golf, music, and traveling (when I can). At camp I enjoy running archery and nature study. I look forward to meeting so many new people this summer!
I graduated from university last summer, where I studied social policy in business, and rather than jumping into the corporate world I’ve spent the past year focusing on sports! I started my own sportswear company in September, which has been incredible – I make custom-made sports clothes for athletes and teams as well as working on sports events and tournaments – it’s fantastic to be able to support my local sporting community and have my day to day life focused on my passions!
Through this, I had the opportunity to live in France for three months over the winter working as a ski instructor. It was an awesome experience to wake up mountains every day and meet people from all across the world! Watching the sunrise over Mont Blanc has to be one of the highlights of my year!
I’ve also been so lucky to be able to spend most of my free time concentrating on field hockey. I’m a conditioning coach for a junior programme on top of playing in the national ladies league, and I’m currently working on getting my umpiring certificate.
At camp you’ll find me with a tennis racket in my hand as I’ll be teaching all the racket sports! Who’s going to be the first to beat Rich at a game of pickleball this year?!
Hi! I’m Mitzi Wiggin! I just finished my sophomore year at Wellesley college. I am currently a neuroscience major but am planning to switch to psychology with a minor in education. I am on the varsity field hockey team at Wellesley as well as a dance team called freestyle. I love to coach and play sports, and I LOVE to dance!! My job in Wellesley is babysitting, and it’s a great time. My favorite hobbies include cooking, writing and drawing. My favorite water is salt water and I am SO excited to be at camp!!
Hello! My name is Patrick and I’ll be your Adventure Director this summer! This’ll be my third summer at camp and I am real psyched. I grew up in Chester, VT and graduated in 2016 from Johnson State College where I majored in Outdoor Education. This year I worked with behaviorally and emotionally struggling students throughout Northern Vermont but I just couldn’t stay away from the camp lyfe (slang for life). I like a lot of things about camp, like the ropes courses, the waterfront, and getting ice pops thrown at me from the gator. My favorite activity at camp is capture the flag. I like working at Birch Hill because of the wonderful staff and campers that arrive every summer. I can’t wait to see all your bright and smiling faces!
My name is Max Crockett and this will be my fifth year as a counselor at camp. I am currently studying at CCBC in Baltimore, Maryland and will be graduating in a year and a half. I was a camper at a camp in Maryland for seven years before I aged out of the camp, took a couple of years off and then applied to Birch Hill and the rest is history. Some of the qualifications that I have include, life guard certification, prior teaching experience, I have a second degree black belt and speak three languages. Some of my prior travel experience that I have include many parts of the US and South Africa but I would like to travel to Italy, New Zealand and Spain. Some of my hobbies that I like are watching movies, reading books, martial arts, and hanging with friends. The number one reason why I am excited to be working at camp is to make new memories with new friends and old friends and to make camp the best experience for everyone that will be at camp this summer!