Truth is…our Staff are the Best!

goodsportcounselorsAs Visiting Day approaches, and we begin to reflect on the first half of the summer….I have to take a moment and thank our incredible staff!  This weekend was filled with activities that really reflect their contribution to our camp and why they help make it so special.  On Saturday, we had many new families at camp for our S’more Tour Rookie Day. Several families were alumni; in fact, they were our campers back when Stephanie and I first started…what a treat to have them show up as future camp parents!  The feedback we recived was that they were impressed with our staff (from LITs to CITs to General Counselors, Specialists and Department Heads); they saw counselors involved, spirited, attentive and really caring about the kids!

I often say that I think parents choose Camp Towanda because they trust Stephanie and I to be THEIR parenting partners; to positively impact, influence their kids as well as set the tone for everyone and everything here at camp. BUT, I think one of the many reasons  the kids want to come back for years and years, is because of their counselors.

klasnerWe are very proud of our staff; they get it, they care and while they are definitely learning a lot about themselves (after all being a camp counselor is like taking a Parenting 101 course), they are impacting and caring for your children.

Saturday night’s evening activity was “ultimate camp in action”. The event was TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES which pitted the campers against the staff; the kids lobbed whipped cream pies and buckets and pitchers of BUG JUICE on their counselors. If I told the staff when I interviewed them that on a Saturday night you would voluntarily stand in a kiddie pool while an 7 year old through a pie in your face in front of 750 people, all cheering, dancing, screaming and laughing…I don’t think they would get it…… BUT that is what happened and as youngest and oldest laughed together; the synergy and electricity of our camp relationships boomed into the night.

thumbs upAfterwards we had a pumped up staff meeting as they are eagerly awaiting the upcoming week with your kids.  As the Owners and Directors of camp, we are excited, pleased and proud of how this summer’s camp family is learning from each other, growing together and coming together.
After the staff meeting, we had a comedian from NYC come up and do an hour of college stand-up humor to give our staff a light break….. funny guy, good night and thanks to our Senior Staff who covered the bunks into the wee hours!  Because when the staff are happy campers…our campers are happy campers.

I gotta tell you, we really do pinch ourselves everyday……this place is amazing!

group pic

The “Prog Blog”


Everyone at Camp Towanda is integral, important and inspirational to the impact on the summer experience for all members of the Camp Towanda Family. From campers, bunk counselors, qualified instructors and specialists, leaders and senior staff to those behind the scenes who cook, clean and maintain our beautiful camp.

Everyone, one way or another, interacts with our kids; from the guy who cuts the lawn, picks up the garbage, cooks our food, mops the floors to those who work in the laundry, housekeeping or maintenance departments.

It is important, as Owners and Directors that we know everyone at camp…and they know and are comfortable with us as well.

We just returned last night from an inspiring support staff recruiting trip to Prague and Budapest.  Stephanie, Jared and I met with alumni and returnees; seeing, learning and experiencing their culture while interviewing and hiring new staff members to join the 38 returning KMP!  KMP is our term for Kitchen & Maintenance Personnel.

38 returnees; that says a lot about how we care about our KMP Support Staff! Our Operations Director, Mark “Z” Zides, is legendary in the camping industry for overwhelmingly taking care of the KMP; just like Bob & Amy, or Head Counselors, take care of the counselor staff! Z has raised the bar each of his 18 years at Towanda!

Our international staff feel safe and happy while they get into their responsibilities; enhancing, improving and positively impacting the summer’s experience for everyone at Camp Towanda, even though they are so far from home!

Respect, cultural exchange and opportunity  is what sets Camp Towanda apart! Our KMP get involved in our evening activities, special events and exchange of cultural information.  Towanda is woven through people from over 25 states and 17 countries that empowers us all to be ambassadors of our hometowns.

The Americans, former campers or not, welcome, get to know and work side by side with our international staff; adding to the already incredible dynamic experience at camp!

Our staff make life long friends around the world; which evolves into a great itinerary in their future!

Now, after this trip, we are even more excited, pumped and eager to get LUCKY 2013 going; we have a great staff; in the bunks, on the fields and behind the scenes!

Next stop; bring on orientation!