It was my experience working at YMCA Camp Jorn that helped me to decide to become a teacher. I've now been teaching for the past 23 years. I've recently joined the Board of Directors. Below you will find an excerpt from a letter I sent out inviting friends of Jorn to help send kids to summer camp. If you have a moment please take a stroll down my summer camp memory lane.
Hello, Friend of Camp Jorn!
I wanted to reach out and say hello. I’ve recently joined the Board of Directors for YMCA Camp Jorn, a place that has been pivotal in my personal development. Here is my Camp Jorn story.
- I attended Family Camp as a young child and have fuzzy memories of a giant bear serving up cookies to the chant of “CJ CJ Ooh Ahh!” I devoured these cookies on the rec. square.
- My father, who is a Camp Jorn alumni, pulled me aside during my junior year of high school and said, “Son, I think you should spend at least one summer working at Camp Jorn.” And to his surprise, I listened.
- I hopped an Amtrak train from Portland, OR, and ended up in Wisconsin Dells. Dennis Lipp, Camp Jorn Director at the time, picked me up and took me to camp for the week. The camp was quiet and beautiful, and I was hooked.
- I worked at camp in the summers of 1992- 1995 as a counselor. These were some of the greatest summers of my life. I learned how to lead, listen and think about someone other than myself. My experiences over these years are what led me to become a teacher. I’m now in my 23rd year of teaching middle school students in Arbor Vitae-Woodruff, WI.
- In 1999 I worked as the Trips Director. I love trips. They reveal character and allow us to learn about ourselves. I went canoeing in the Boundary Waters, saw trippers return with the confidence that is only granted to adventurers. This might be the best job I’ve ever had in my life. After this summer I began teaching in the Great Northwoods.
- Occasionally I would get a call from camp. “Are you able to work for a few weeks?” From the years 2001-to 2003, I said “yes.” I may have been the world’s oldest camp counselor, but I still appreciated every moment of it. We are never too old to sing “Camp Jorn Will Shine Tonight” or “Today.”
- My experience at YMCA Camp Jorn has helped shape my career, introduced me to my wonderful wife (whom I met through camp), and provided my two daughters with summer adventures that they talk about all year long.
- We now attend family camp regularly, residing in White Tail, conveniently located next to the KYBO.
Many of my camp friends have similar stories about “The Magic of Camp Jorn” as well.
If you’ve made it this far in the letter you’re probably wondering, “What does this crazy Camp Jorn guy want?”. That’s a good question. I want as many young people as possible to have the same “life-changing” experiences that I’ve had. I want to help send kids to YMCA Camp Jorn.
If you'd like to help send kids to camp click the button below to donate to the YMCA Camp Jorn Strong Kids Campaign.