The bonds created between staff members who work together at Camp are incredibly strong, mostly because we go through such an incredible, non-stop 2-month experience together. We have to rely on one another to get through the summer in one piece. Camp is definitely a team sport. These bonds between staff are very special and often times last an entire lifetime. Typically, the more summers the relationships as staff members last, the longer those relationships will continue into the future.
I truly believe this will be the case for the Ocky CIT’s of 2006. I always have high hopes for our CIT’s of every summer, but some classes are really able to come together in a rare and special way. I remember receiving CIT applications in the winter of 2005/2006 and thinking that we were going to have an amazing group of CIT’s that summer. What these boys did over the next 5 summers as staff members has blown me away!
Over the last 5 years, the six 2006 CIT’s who went on to be staff members have been Assistant Counselors, Counselors, Lifeguards, Nature Directors, Village Chiefs, Ranger Directors, CIT/LIT Directors, and Program Directors. Outside of Camp, various members of the ’06 CIT’s have been Fraternity Presidents, Thru-Hikers on the Appalachian Trail (all 2100 miles!), participants of the 8000 mile Mongol Rally through Europe and Asia to raise $1000 for a Mongolian Orphanage, and students in some very prestigious universities. They have all been amazing role models for children. At least 3 of the boys will be returning this summer. Brennan Downey will be serving as the Ockanickon Program Director, Sam Kaubin will be returning to his role as CIT/LIT Director, and Dan Rozov will be training his replacements, James Otwell and Paul Giovanni, as they transition into the role of Ranger Instructors. Dan will be leaving us after Session 2 for a semester abroad in Australia. Former Ocky Program Director, Rich Rinaldi, has accepted the full-time position of Program Director for YMCA Camp Erdman in Hawaii and will be starting there next month. Former Ocky CIT/LIT Director, Alex Insel, has recently been accepted to the very selective and prestigious “Teach for America” program which strives to ensure that kids growing up in poverty get an excellent education (Congratulations, Alex!). Former (and hopefully future) Ocky Counselor, Joe Reeves, allegedly attends West Chester University. I typically lose touch with him every year after Summer Camp ends and don’t hear from him again until the next summer. I secretly believe he is a spy in Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but I have yet to confirm this suspicion. We’ll see if Joe makes an appearance this summer!
Regardless of where the Boys of ’06 spend the summer of ’12, we are very proud of them and hope that future Ocky CIT classes follow in their footsteps. As they finish up their “careers” at Camp Ockanickon (hopefully we’ll hold on to at least a few of them for a couple more years!) we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors and hope that they bring some of Ockanickon to the outside world! Thanks, Guys! Your contributions to our YMCA will never be forgotten (accept for the time one of them hid the Matolly Princess statue in the back of my car.)!