Spotlight on Staff: Alumni Luke Neilson

My name is Luke Neilson and I’m from Auckland, New Zealand, where I have lived most of my life!

I was 19 years old my first year at West when I was part of their Water Ski staff, and finished off my time there in 2007 as Boys Head Counselor working year-round in the winter office with the Directors.

I was extremely fortunate to have been found by West’s Director Jenn. Because of Jenn, my life took an unbelievable turn for the next decade. The invaluable experience that I was able to obtain from working at West and learning from Jenn, allowed me to bring back home the knowledge and skills which has led me to running my own mini day camp in Auckland. I am responsible for approximately 100 families every holiday (school vacation in American lingo!) and after school as well.

I also do Training and Development for early childhood education centers, training their staff in communication with parents, difficult behaviors and customer service. What started out as a passion for working with children has now turned into a passion for helping others develop the skills to do the same.

Personally, I have turned into a very active person where I can be found at the gym regularly and have run many half marathons races and will be participating in my first full marathon race this year!

I think of West often and reflect on what it has done for me both personally and professionally… I still try to get back to West to visit when I can, even though I am on the other side of the world. And yet, no matter how far a part I may be from camp, it still remains as something so very close to my heart…  Miss you all and can’t wait until my next visit!

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