© 2019 by Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco

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STAFF STORIES

RYAN - STAFF 2016 & 2017

What is the community at Camp like?

"Inclusive, exciting, warm, challenging, scary, tiresome, invigorating etc. Whilst most of those words juxtapose each other, its important to understand that Camp is an environment that will force you to face every aspect of yourself - best and worst... but more of the best lol. It is an immensely emotional experience that is SO worth it. Just don't go expecting a paid summer vacation - It's still work - but the emotional rewards are incredible and priceless."

What keeps you coming back to Camp?

"There is nowhere on the planet quite like Camp Mendocino. Genuinely, one of the most life changing experiences I have ever had. Whilst I've only worked at camp for two summers, the effect it has had on me as a person has been more profound than I have words to describe."
 

If you were trying to convince someone to join Camp staff next summer, what would you say?

"It's hard to describe the feeling you get when a child that you've interacted with at Camp comes up to you grinning teeth and says "I did it". Its hard to describe the pride in helping a child become proud of themselves. Camp cant really be explained, it needs to be experienced and you deserve to know that joy as much as those children deserve that pride which you can help them achieve."

RHYS - STAFF & VOLUNTEER 2014-2017

In what ways have you grown or learned at Camp? 

"Nothing I've ever done has ever had as much impact on my life as Camp has. It's hard to put into words exactly how but it definitely gave me a confidence that I didn't have before. It also taught me about a culture different to my own but more importantly led to me going into a youth development career back in the UK, something that I love and wouldn't change for the world." 

What is the community at Camp like?

"Camp is a home away from home for campers and staff. The staff and campers create a community where people can be comfortable and feel respected being themselves. The impact of this community is clear in how many campers and staff come back year on year. Many of the people I've worked with at camp are people I consider as some of the closest to me."

If you were trying to convince someone to join Camp staff next summer, what would you say?

"If you are looking for something bigger than an average summer camp then Camp Mendocino is for you. Camp Mendocino truly serves the youth of San Francisco and creates something memorable for campers and staff like nothing else could. Obviously camp is full of fun but it is far more than this; it is a place for youth to develop, to escape to and to feel safe and valued. Working at Camp Mendocino is an amazing, humbling and memorable experience."

TYREE - FORMER CAMPER & STAFF 2017-2018

In what ways have you grown or learned at Camp? 

"Camp has helped me in so many ways. Camp has taught me how to use my voice to get what I want but in a positive way. Camp also taught me how to deal with different kids from all three backgrounds such as low class, middle class and upper class. Now I can take that back to my personal work."

What would you say to someone who says you were "just" a camp counselor?

"You are more than just a counselor. You have ten days to plant a seed in a child life. It Is very hard cause sometimes it get real emotional once it is time for that kid to leave knowing that that kid have shared so much with you. That's why it is so important to not look at this as "Just a summer vacation" The seed is in your pocket it's up to you to plant so others can water it!"

What keeps you coming back to Camp?

"Being able to positively impact a kid's life for ten days, knowing we share/shared the same struggles!"

KIRSTEN - STAFF 2017-2019

What would you say if you were trying to convince someone to join Camp staff next summer?

"I would say, if you’re looking to challenge yourself but complete the most rewarding experience of your life then Camp is for you. You need a lot of energy, but the young people will definitely help boost your energy and creativity."

What is the community at Camp like?

"Incredible! I have genuinely made best friends for life. The best thing about camp, is walking around dressed like a weirdo and nobody ever questions it!"

What would you say to someone who says you were "just" a camp counselor?

"Camp was one of the hardest, but best things I have ever done in my life. You make a difference to so many young people’s lives and become part of a major experience for them. You will learn things about yourself, and be humbled by other people’s experiences."​

ISELL - FORMER CAMPER & STAFF 2015-2019

In what ways have you grown or learned at Camp? 

"Camp has helped push me out of my comfort zone and turned me into the person (and leader) I am today. It's helped me learn to deal with stress (if you can survive crazy Camp moments you can survive just about anything). I've learned so much about working with kids and conflict management. Camp has also put into my life the most amazing people who have become my support system both in and out of Camp."

What is the community at Camp like?

"There are really no words to adequately describe the Camp community.....A group of strangers who you become insanely close to, will have your back when you need it most, end up learning a lot from, and possibly make you cry at the end of the summer when you have to say goodbye."

What would you say to someone who says you were "just" a camp counselor?

"If you had a child who you were sending off to Camp, would you want someone who was "just" a Camp counselor taking care of them? No. You'd want someone with child development and conflict management skills. Someone you can trust will take care of them and provide them with the emotional support you can't because you're not with them. Someone who will make it their mission for your child to have the time of their life. Someone who understands the fact that you are trusting them with the most valuable thing in your life. You don't want "just" a camp counselor, you want the best."