From Camper to Junior Counselor

Hi! My name is Josh, and I lived on Long Island until I was 13 before moving to New York City with my family. I have an amazingly supportive and loving family which includes my West Highland Terrier, Bailey, who is one of my best friends!

I love writing poetry, playing music (Ukulele and Piano), and spending time with friends. When not at camp, I go to school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I love developing film (old school style in a dark room), I’m also in the drama class, I’m the editor of our school’s Literary magazine, and I’m the leader and creator of the Monopoly Club (yes, “Monopoly,” as in the board game!) My favorite book is called Eden by Pablo Holmberg and is a book of amazingly deep and beautifully illustrated comic strips. My favorite musical artist is Ben Folds, who I attempt to emulate in musical style and in lyrical ingenuity.

My experience at West has been a pivotal and vital component to who I am today.  I started going to TLW when I was 6 years old because an older friend of mine was going (he was 3 years older than me). I signed up without visiting the camp or meeting any campers. Due to my parents’ curiosity, and my unusually young age to be going to sleep-away camp, Jenn DeSpagna came to my house and talked to my parents and I about West. At the end of our discussion, I had taken a seat in Jenn’s lap and wanted desperately to go directly to camp with her right then and there.

See, my love for Timber Lake West and everything that it stood for started before I ever set foot on its campus. I went to TLW for 9 years, and loved it more and more each and every year. Three years ago, during my moving process from Long Island to New York City, TLW was a stable place where my friends supported me and stayed in contact throughout this transition in my life. As my social life at home changed drastically, I had a wonderful anchor keeping me sane, happy, and more comfortable in my skin – My West family.

This coming summer will be my first year as a counselor (Junior Counselor) and I’m both excited and sad that an amazing period of my life has come to an end. I find the best thing about TLW to be it’s people; the friends I’ve made at camp are some of the most important people in my life. My friends at TLW have a VERY large range of ages, and that is a fact I value. At Timber Lake West, people treat you like a peer, rather than a kid, and that is the real reason I kept coming back.

To anyone considering going to TLW, I would say “DO IT!”  Timber Lake West has not just been something I’ve attended, but instead something that has become part of who I am, and at the same time let me become a part of it. I’m looking forward to seeing what the counselor’s world is like, and I can’t wait to be back in the commons with the sun shinning, the tears of joy, and the powerful laughter that echoes every summer day when I’m there.

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