Our guest blogger this week is Tess Liebersohn!  Tess was a camper for many years at Matollionequay.  She went on to become staff and after a 2 year break from camp, we are so excited to have Tess as a Village Chief this summer!  Welcome back Tess!


Several months before I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in April, I started fielding the question all college seniors face:

“What are you doing after you graduate?”

My answer included mumbled variations of “not really sure yet” until March, when I was thrilled to learn that I was accepted to a program where I would be teaching English to elementary school students in Lille, France for eight months. I am very happy to have a job related to my degrees (French and linguistics), and in Europe of all places! And so, the conversation changed:

“I’m teaching English in France!” I say.

“When does that start?”


“What will you be doing before then?” I love this question.

“I’m going to be a Village Chief at my summer camp!” I get mixed reactions to this answer.

“Isn’t there something more…useful you could be doing to further your career?”

I know the asker of a question like this has never been to a camp and therefore doesn’t know the sheer joy that comes from 120 girls singing on benches in a crowded dining hall. They don’t know that I still sing “Taps” before bed sometimes even though it’s been two years since I’ve worked at camp. They don’t know that camp friends are sacred. They don’t know that eating three pretzel melts at lunch doesn’t mean you won’t be hungry for dinner. They don’t know that the shyest Cherokee will become the loudest counselor ten years later. And they don’t know that I’ve wanted to be a Village Chief since I came to camp nine years ago and that I’m looking forward to the waffles at Matolly more than the real Belgian waffles thirty minutes away from my future French home come October.

To all those skeptics who have raised their eyebrows at my preferred summer employment, rest assured that being a VC relates directly to my future career, whatever it may be. I will be a leader capable of handling everything from a homesick camper to nervous parents to dozens of restless children armed only with closed-toed shoes and funny stories. What boring, unpaid internship can beat that?

Tess Liebersohn