We are excited to announce that Jessica Baroff will be our first ever volunteer manager! We know she will help us greatly improve the value of the Orc experience for our volunteers. For the last six summers, Jessica has been a general counselor with the Hobbits and Baggins and a bus counselor at the Duke stop. While her work with the campers is exemplary and reflective of her deep understanding of child development as well as her commitment to her future career as a first grade teacher, Jessica’s interest in teaching and mentoring young teens is an embodiment not only of her love for Camp Riverlea, but also her recognition of the lasting importance camp has for everyone in the community. The Orcs who have worked closely with Jessica have become outstanding junior counselors and always end their summer having learned skills applicable beyond the borders of Riverlea’s property.
We are grateful and excited that Jessica will be an integral part in the development of this program, and the principal person in its daily implementation throughout the summer. In the months that follow, she will work closely with us to design a teen leadership and CIT program that teaches our volunteers not only the specific things that great leaders do and say to be considered respectful, caring, flexible, inclusive, good at listening, creative, etc., but also how to further develop these skills (and many others) on their own for the rest of their lives.
The development and evolution of this program is currently underway. Already we have learned from many excellent programs at day and overnight camps across the U.S. and Canada, and will continue to seek out the ideas that will be most successful at Riverlea. Our excitement for the program continues to spread as we gain a more complete sense of what the implementation and growth of the program will look like, the ways in which initial training and continuous mentorship will improve, and the possible outcomes we — and our volunteers! — can expect. Please join all of us at camp in our hope and excitement for this new program.