Let’s welcome our new Program Coordinator, Grace Wiles!

Grace has been attending Camp Crosley for 12 summers.  She attended as a camper, LIT, and as summer staff.

Favorite Camp Memory: I remember my second year at Camp Crosley, the summer I turned ten, walking down the road toward the dining hall for check-in on Sunday afternoon (yes, this was back when you had to park your car and walk around camp to check in) and being so excited, but so nervous; the year before, I had been really homesick and found it really hard to sleep at night, to the point that my counselors had had to call in their manager for help. The manager, Naomi, who had decided to go into our cabin each night and read Nancy Drew to us until we all fell asleep. I had felt very cared for then, so going into my second round as a camper, I knew that, even if I did feel homesick, there would be people at camp who would be there for me. As I was leading my parents to the dining hall, I overheard a voice saying, “Excuse me one moment, there’s someone I want to say hi to,” and then calling my name. I turned around — it was Naomi! She had been talking to a group of adults, but interrupted their conversation so she could say hello, ask me about my year, and meet my parents. I felt so special — she had remembered me. That feeling of being seen and remembered has stuck with me, and while it was a small moment, I think it describes what I love most about camp: being somewhere I feel like I belong.

What I’m Looking Forward to In  My New Role:  Returning to Camp Crosley year after year has felt like a homecoming for some time now, so I’m honestly just excited to be back. With this job specifically, I’m really pumped to continue building on the relationships I’ve formed with campers and staff. This summer, I’ll have 6 people who were campers in my cabin at some point who are now on staff as counselors. My campers will have campers — I’ll be a grand-counselor! Just like I got so much joy from showing them the magic of Camp Crosley when they were in my cabin, I can’t wait to see them discover the magic of being a counselor. I’m excited to pass it on, so to speak.