Occupation: University Recreation Director, Children’s Camp Director
City of residence: Portland, OR
Why do you want to be camp director? First and foremost, I want to contribute more to the “Best Camp in the Land”. What makes Sugarloaf great includes the program structure but it is really all about the campers and staff. The camp location can add to the experience but it’s really the people that make it special.
The fact that Fine Arts is the program concentration attracts a special type of person. While campers, like most youth today, have many interests, they have chosen to spend a week of their summer concentrating on the Arts. This says something about who they are. They may also be playing on a sports team or intrigued by science and they probably spend a ton of time on the computer, but they are excited about the arts, and that piece of their makeup is critical. The mix of all these artistic people is wonderful. The product is amazing.
My role at camp as Campfire Director was a sweet gig. While Nicolas, the Assistant Directors, the Program Directors and the County Office Staff worked all year to make arrangements so things would run smoothly, I would write a few songs, practice “Good Old Sugarloaf Station”, “The Pond Monster” and all the Sugarloaf favorites, drive down from Portland and have a ball at camp. Why would I give that up?
On a practical level, I feel that I have a lot to give to the Program. I have enjoyed running camps in Louisiana, California and Oregon. Working on the business side and the programmatic side, I’ve managed to run programs that break new ground and focus on the campers while staying in the black financially. Sugarloaf presents many new challenges to me and I look forward to having a positive impact on the Program. Our work so far has been invigorating. We have been sponges, soaking up all the information we can and after some great meetings with Program staff, Nicolas, Scotty and Cathy Bean in early November, we’ve been at it ever since. Andy has been great to work with and I hope to make it down a bit early so I can spend some time with him at Sugarloaf during Session #1.
Which session of camp are you directing? Session #2
Former camper at Sugarloaf? I was a camper at the original Sugarloaf for two years. I remember the deep dust, the swimming pond, the Volleyball games, the movie nights, the huge bowls of peanuts, the flies, eating outside, a-frames with no roofs for cabins, the assembly area under the trees and of course, the rattle snakes. I was in Symphonic and Jazz Band and played the alto sax. Greg Birch was my first counselor (B-6) and Tom Letz was my second (B-3).
Previously on staff at Sugarloaf? I was a junior counselor back in about 1979 at the Kiwanis site with B-11 and continued working until the year of the fire. I remember during our evacuation, I did push-ups in the middle of Highway 50, just so I could say that I had done push-ups in the middle of Highway 50, like I am now.
I wasn’t able to work with Sugarloaf during my college years and first job in New Orleans but when I moved back out to the West Coast, I called Scotty Comer and asked if he might have any positions available. I worked as B-1 counselor and as head boys counselor before getting the call to be Campfire Director. I served in that position through the summer of 2009. I love being on the Sugarloaf stage and making the decision to give up the Campfire Director position was difficult.
Interests: Cycling, music, running, hiking, camping, video making, beer making, bocce, snowboarding, travel
Something people may be surprised to learn about you: In Jazz Band with John Pratt at Markham School, I attempted to transpose a Ted Nugent song for the entire band!
Favorite quote: Work hard when it’s easier so it’ll be easier when it’s harder
Birthday: March 30
Final comment: This will be an exciting year preparing for camp and meeting all the people who contribute to camp and understanding all that you do. Thanks for your support and your efforts to make this the Best Camp in the Land!
Occupation: Fund Operations Analyst
City of residence: Oakland, CA
Family: Wife, Astrid Cruz, and daughters Ainsley (9) and Inge (6)
Why do you want to be a camp director: I've been involved with Sugarloaf for roughly 15 of the last 28 years. I started at camp as a music student (summer of '83) and continued as a camper until I was in high school. I had the privilege of becoming a camp counselor while still in high school and went on to become Head Boys Counselor and Assistant Director. I always loved going to Camp, but don't think I realized the impact that it had in my life until I was much older.
It is well established that early involvement in the Arts stimulates and develops imagination, focus and critical thinking, and refines cognitive and creative skills. Arts education also nurtures important values including team-building skills, respecting alternative viewpoints, and appreciating or being aware of different cultures and traditions.
Sugarloaf provides a safe place for kids to develop many of these skills. The camp offers a unique opportunity to get children out of their home environment, away from all the normal distractions of their everyday lives and mix with a diverse group of individuals of many different ages and backgrounds. For younger campers, it gives them an opportunity to work with older campers and counselors, and for older campers, it is a great opportunity to mentor. Additionally, the camp program is artistically rigorous and is run by program directors with years of experience as both teachers and professional artists themselves. Where I have had success in my life, it has been due to the discipline, creativity and relational abilities learned in the arts. Sugarloaf played a very strong role in this development. I look at my role as director as an opportunity to give back to this program after gaining so much from it as an individual, and also as an opportunity to ensure the program continues to evolve while at the same time maintaining its essence.
Which week are you directing camp? Session 1
Former camper at Sugarloaf? Yes! 6 years. Music major.
Previously on staff at Sugarloaf? I have not been an instructor at Sugarloaf, but was a camp counselor for 5 years, Head Boy's Counselor for 2 years, Assistant Director for 1 year, and Nicholas Ridout's "Shadow Director" for a year.
Interests: While I do not get an opportunity to perform music much anymore, I am still very much a music consumer. I'm an avid collector of classical recordings and antiquarian books (having worked at an antiquarian bookstore in college). I love cinema. I enjoy travel, dining and cooking and am fortunate enough to live in one of the world's food and dining Meccas.
Something people may be surprised to learn about you: Having a JD and working in finance, my colleagues are always surprised to learn how involved in the Arts I am or that I have such a strong Arts background. On the other hand, my friends in the Arts are always shocked that I studied law and work for a bank. I suppose it all comes down to where you are situated. I think we are all full of surprises.
Favorite quote: "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be." -- Kurt Vonnegut