We are so excited to be welcoming back Mari and Maru to Waukeela this summer! Both Mari and Maru have made a huge impact on our Waukeela community and will be joining us again this summer as head of Junior Alley (Maru) and head of Senior Alley (Mari). Below we did a quick interview with them so you could get to know them a little bit better.
Join us in welcoming back Mari and Maru!
What is your background at Waukeela?
Maru: I’ve worked at Waukeela since the summer of 2013. I started as a cabin counselor teaching high ropes my first summer, my second summer I was a hiking counselor and part of the non-cabin staff. Then I was promoted to be Junior Alley Head and part of the Senior Staff team and this will be my second consecutive summer doing that.
Mari: This is going to be my seventh summer at Waukeela. I started out as a Silver Birch then went on to become the Arts and Crafts counselor. Last summer I had the amazing experience of being SEP Head and this summer I’m really exited to be coming back as Senior Head.
What is your favorite thing about working in a camp environment?
Maru: My favorite thing about working in a camp environment is the joy that goes around, being outdoors, connecting with nature, being around people of all ages.
Mari: I have never been a part of a community as enriching and powerful as Waukeela. Likewise, I have never felt so proud to be a part of something as I have felt at camp. I am certain that working at Waukeela for the past couple of years has helped shaped me into the person that I am today. Working in this environment has helped me learn so much not only about myself but about how people relate to each other.
What is your favorite thing about Waukeela?
Maru: What I like the most about Waukeela is that it’s a safe place for anyone and everyone. Its a non-judgmental environment where you can feel safe being who you are without worrying about what people will think, social media, standards or anything that can stop you for being yourself. At Waukeela you are encouraged to be exactly who you are and nothing else and I think that is an extremely important reminder for today’s generation.
Mari: My favorite thing about Waukeela is without question the people. I love being a part of a group of people where everyone is their crazy, weird, unfiltered self. I really enjoy seeing how the magic that we have at camp makes everyone more comfortable in their own skin and how this has the power to transform the way we see things. Everyone seems to grow over the summer, not only individually but closer together as a community and being a part of this is the reason why I keep coming back.
What Waukeela tradition are you most excited to be a part of this Summer?
Maru: My favorite tradition is the Green and White assembly because not only you can see the excitement of the new folks picking the color they’re going to be part of for the rest of their life but also the joy of the returners welcoming their new team members. It is a great welcoming tradition that I look forward to every summer.
Mari: I don’t think that I can choose one single Waukeela tradition that I am most exited about. I think that all the traditions together make everyone feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves, something that has been going on for generations and that they can pass on to future Waukeela generations. This feeling is one of the most cherished ones I have about camp and I am very exited for everyone to get to experience it.
What are you most looking forward to in Summer 2016?
Maru: I look forward to meeting new people and helping them settle in the awesome Waukeela environment, both staff and campers.
Mari: I am most looking forward to contributing as much as I can to the camp that I love in this new position and helping everyone get as much out of their time at Waukeela as possible. I am very exited to see how much everyone has grown over the year and being a part of the magic one more time!