Let me introduce myself, HI, my name is Sarah Lea and I am a real college kid who took a real summer job and did some REAL crazy stuff.
Yeah! That’s me! Welcome to my uniform at Camp this past summer. For those who casually know me, or fallow my work, my ventures “into the wild” have probably gone unnoticed. That’s no fun!
In January 2012 I had a falling out with nearly all of my friends and family, so when I heard about summer jobs that paid for food, housing and an excuse to leave Missouri, I applied right away. Within a month of applying the high adventure coordinator contacted me and offered me a job, I hastily signed away 11 weeks of my life, with no clue what my job entailed!
May 27th I arrived near Canada on the camp grounds and my oh my, was I filled with dread. There was nothing but……..tress, and water, woo? I had just spent the past 6 months learning how to coordinate and collaborate with artists and models in photo shoots; now I was miles away from any person that even resembled a model (haha).
I quickly learned that my job was one of the most challenging positions in the camp, I had to literally make sure teenage boys didn’t die in the woods/on lake superior while on survival trips. We did it all, learned wilderness first aid, kayak rescue techniques, how to use a whisper light stove and of course how to make the *super delicious* dehydrated meals. Talk about being a bad ass. :p
After an adventure trip gone wrong, I was reassigned to work at main camp on mini adventures. Rock climbing, high ropes courses, canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, kayaking, shooting and archery filled my days. AWESOME! Once I adjusted to the idea of being at main camp, I had a blast with the kids and the staff. I will never forget camp fires in the friendship bowl, seeing a black bear while white water rafting and telling kids with low pants that it’s “not my fault they’re a gangster.” Priceless quotes and nearly unbelievable bonds with friends will always be cherished.
I did get “paid to play,” but make no mistake, the camp was designed to teach skills to groom youth for leadership and military potential. Who cares? Me, me and my groggy 7:30am walks to salute the flag and olive-freen-calf-high socks that I can never wear again because they are ugly as sin. The strict nature of the camp almost lead me to quit on more than one occasion: without the support of my fellow staff, I would have.
Now………this post is about SUMMER, and what is summer without an outdoor concert? Why, it’s useless! That is why me and my 3 coworkers loaded up my ford appropriately named the “pop corn wagon” and drove the 5 hours to Summer Fest. We we lucky enough to see Hollywood Undead, Chevelle, Common and some sweet DJ’s. I basked in the atmosphere of the world’s largest musical festival and enjoyed my 24 hours away from camp to it’s fullest potential. Of course this meant driving 8 hours and sleeping only 2. But we did not care, we were not only staff, we were friends, moshing our faces off haha.
That weekend and many other smaller, yet significant happenings are the reason I loved my “summer in the damn woods with the F*in kids.” Though I complain about the time it took from modeling and from my personal life, I would (and may) do it again.
Sarah Lea (Survivalist when assisted)