Regardless of the time of year, summer is always just around the corner for all of us in the TEC Office. As soon as the buses roll out of the gates in August, we begin preparing for our next camp adventure. A large part of the preparation is staff recruiting. We review hundreds of applications and attend domestic and international staff fairs. We do all of this with one goal in mind: finding the perfect counselors to join our camp family.
We recently traveled to England and Scotland, where we attended camp fairs for Camp America and CCUSA. With the help of a few wonderful TEC Alumni, we hired many GREAT new staff members. This month we will be traveling to Colorado State University, the University of Northern Colorado, Indiana University, Purdue, Penn State, Clarion, Lockhaven, Slippery Rock and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. We’re excited to continue our search for the best counselors these schools have to offer.
Counselors are an integral part of the Trail’s End Experience. They are role models, mentors, coaches and older siblings. They help create an environment where our campers feel comfortable and confident, while having “An Experience of a Lifetime.”
In order to get a sense of what the TEC Staff Experience is all about, we spoke with 3 people, each viewing TEC through their own unique lens. First, from our alumni ranks, Sam Elman, who grew up at TEC. Sam was a 6-year camper and a bunk counselor for 3 summers. Second, we have Kate Howe who was our dance instructor for 2 seasons. Kate will be returning to TEC in 2014 for the first time in 5 years and will be serving as a Varsity Group Leader. Third, we spoke with James Aird who will be a first time bunk counselor in for the summer of 2014. He was recently hired at a camp fair in the UK.
Nickname: Selman, The Legend Elman
Favorite Sports Team: New York Giants and Syracuse (Cuse) basketball
Favorite Quote: When Stan tells everyone at services, “Close your eyes and think of someone you never knew before you got to camp. Think about why that person is important to you today.”
Years at TEC: 9 Amazing Summers!
Hi, my name is Sam Elman and I am a junior at Syracuse University, but am currently studying abroad this semester in London. Since being abroad, I have been able to catch up with so many old friends from camp. I was fortunate enough to be able to experience Trail’s End. My time at Trail’s End was unforgettable and helped me become the person I am today. The family atmosphere, incredible staff members and continuous support at Trail’s End helped me grow during my time at camp.
The best part of the experience for me as a counselor was seeing each and every one of my campers grow up before my eyes and become the people they are today. A lot of my campers are going to be in Varsity this summer, which is crazy! I can remember when Brandon Warren was a Pioneer and now he will be a First Year… time goes so fast. Being the go to person for my campers, giving them advice and working together to solve whatever problems they were having was the part of the job I loved.
Last summer was my first summer not being at Trail’s End, real life kicked in and I cannot tell you how much I missed it. It’s weird when you aren’t at the Axelrod Site for Opening Campfire in June but I know Trail’s End will always be a part of me. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend your summers, as a camper or staff member, other than in Beach Lake at Trail’s End.
Nickname: Watson, Datey
Favorite song: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
Favorite Artist/Group: Arctic Monkeys, Rihanna, Rudimental, Ben Howard, Chase & Status, Florence + the Machine…I could go on!
Favorite Quote: ‘You’ll always be my friend, you know too much ;)’
My name is Kate Howe. I live with one of my best friends in the West Country of England. I’m currently working as a personal banker for Barclay’s Bank in the UK, the last thing I thought I would ever get into was finance but finding it quite interesting!
This will be my third year at Trail’s End, but my first as a Group Leader for Varsity. I have previously been a dance counselor with the Lowers. I had an amazing group of girls in 2007 and 2008. In 2008, I was lucky enough to have been made Olympic captain for Israel. TEC Olympics was the most exciting few days I’ve had. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed and cried so much in such a short space of time! I have so many amazing memories of camp as a staff member. It’s definitely the best job in the world and I cannot wait to return to my summer home in 2014!
I never thought that after 5 years I would be going back to camp, but I’m so happy I am! I know I needed a few more summers at camp before I can say I’ve had my Trail’s End fix, but I’m sure I’ll still be saying that when I’m 50! I have made lifelong friends at camp, with co-counselors and campers. I feel very lucky to be going back this summer and starting my Trail’s End journey all over again!
This summer, I simply cannot wait to do the following things: Winning Lou Flego 🙂 Sing, Dancing with Rona, Olympics, Campfires and s’mores, Nancy Tucker and basically every amazing thing camp has to offer (which is EVERYTHING!).
Favorite Sport: Football (soccer!) and Rugby
Favorite Quote: “All know the way, few actually walk it”
Favorite Bands: The Courteeners, Oasis & Blink-182
Hey! My name is James. I am from Blackpool, near Manchester, England. I attended Arnold School and I am currently studying International History and Politics at the University of Leeds. I am a huge sports fan and I love to play football (soccer) with friends. Music is also a big interest of mine and I really enjoy going to concerts and festivals.
Last summer, I traveled around Europe with a group of friends and saw some incredible things. When I returned from my travels around Europe, I wanted to see as much of the world as possible and I realized camp was a great way to do this. After watching the video for TEC, I saw how happy the kids and staff were and knew Trail’s End was the camp for me! This is my first year at Trail’s End. I attended the international fair in Leeds, met Sara, and got hired all in one day. It was very exciting.
I will be acting as a Cabin Specialist. I can’t wait to see camp in person and experience everything being part of the TEC family has to offer. Although it will be a challenge living in another country, it is very much a challenge I am looking forward to! I am very excited for this fantastic opportunity. Trail’s End looks an exceptional camp. I cannot wait to meet everybody and have the best summer ever! It truly will be a summer of a lifetime for me!
We are excited for everyone to reunite with all of their counselors from last summer, while also meeting all of the wonderful new staff we have hired. Summer is just around the corner. We can’t wait till opening campfire. Only 132 more days!