Spotlight on Staff: Julie

Favorite Color: Yellow (even though I own a ton of red & white clothes!)
Favorite Song:  Every Other Time, by LFO

I’m Julie, from Basking Ridge, New Jersey. I currently go to college at UPenn which I absolutely love, but I still spend every day counting down the hours until I get to drive back up to Roscoe for another unforgettable summer!  I was a camper at West for 7  years, then I became a Junior Counselor, and this, my 10th summer in total, will be my second summer as a General Counselor.

After years of visiting my older brothers who were campers at TLW, it was finally my turn.  The summer after fourth grade, when I was 9 years old, I got on the bus and prepared for the best summer of my life.  I had no idea how much I would fall in love with camp. The first friend I made was the girl who let me sit next to her on the bus, and we still come back to camp together every summer!

Timber Lake West helped me create some of the strongest friendships I will ever have.  I continue to keep in touch with the friends I made when I was a Cadet back in 2003! Some of my favorite times at camp are of sitting around with my friends, laughing about nothing and talking about everything.  My camp friends and I share such a special bond. My “home” friends just can’t comprehend why I am so obsessed with camp and why I return year after year.  I can’t imagine a summer without Timber Lake West and I can’t imagine what my life would be like without the friends I’ve made at camp.

Now, as a Counselor, I experience camp in a whole new way.  My campers are now the highlight of my summer.  I want them to have the same amazing experiences that I had, and I spend every day making sure they enjoy and cherish every second they spend at Timber Lake West.  Seeing them so sad to leave on the last day never gets easier, but it reassures me that they had an amazing summer just like I have had!

Just about every one of the t-shirts I run in and sleep in are from camp.  I still have every one of my friendship bracelets made at camp hanging from my backpack. The Timber Lake West blanket I received for being a five-year camper is folded at the end of my bed in my dorm room. My bunk picture from every year since I was a cadet surround the mirror in my room.  No matter what, I have something to remind me of Timber Lake West in just about every aspect of my life no matter which way I turn – and that’s just the way I like it!

When asked to recall my most memorable moment as a camper, I must say that my very last night as a Teen 2, my friends and I were all crying hysterically after the slideshow and the final alma mater.  We wanted to make a Teen 2’s ’09 collage, so while we were all drowning in tissues with big red puffy eyes and couldn’t speak because we were crying so hard, we all sat down and started making our collage, reminiscing about our summer and our past summers.  For whatever reason, this was a summer unlike any other, so this last night meant so much to me.  I realized just how much Timber Lake West had impacted my life and how I would be a completely different person without it.  Now when I go into the main house every summer and look at the collage that we made, all the incredible memories come flooding back.  That last night stands out in my mind as the culmination of my 7 amazing years as a camper.

If you have the chance to spend a summer at Timber Lake West, take it.  There is no better experience you could possibly have.  My friends who have stopped coming to camp are jealous of me for still going back. The things you learn, the friends you make, and the memories you create will make the summer more than worth it.  Timber Lake West is such a huge part of my life.  When I walk down the hill for the first time each summer, I can’t help but smile and feel that I am home once again.

This line from my Girls Sing alma mater from my last year as a camper, to me, describes camp perfectly: “The love, the tears, the laughs, they’ll never fade, they’re in our hearts, Timber Lake West, forever a part of us.”