One of our segments here on the Winona Camps Blog is called “Meet the Camper” and this week we are featuring a Counselor-In-Training (CIT), Nate Rich.
How many years have you been at Winona?
– This will be my eighth summer at Winona.
When was your first year at camp?
– It was back in 2009! I was in cabin five in Junior.
Which unit are you going to be in this year?
– This summer I am going to be a CIT.
What are you looking forward to most about being a CIT?
– I am really looking forward to seeing the other aspect of camp. I have been going to camp as a camper for a while now and I get the chance to see behind the scenes and what it is that makes Winona so special.
What were your favorite activities as a camper?
– I would say swimming was probably my number one. Recently I have been doing a lot of basketball as well as kayaking and canoeing. But I generally liked to try many of the activities at camp, especially the ones I had never been able to do outside of camp before.
Were you ever into trips as a camper?
– I wasn’t a huge “tripper”, but I definitely remember my favorite one. We did the “Moose Pond Adventure” back in 2013 during my last year in Intermediate. That was a blast; I loved that one.
Want to explain a bit about the “Moose Pond Adventure”?
– We started from the Inty beach and we headed across the pond toward Wyonegonic and camped out at Loon Isle for two nights. We then paddled back past Winona towards Newt’s Isle and camped out there for another two nights. It was a bunch of my close friends, my favorite counselors, and it was just an all-around great experience.
What is your favorite evening program (EP) at camp?
– “Capture the flag in the grove” is a classic. But aside from that my favorite evening program is Stratego. I remember having a lot of fun with that when we played it in Inty. Basically Stratego is a huge game of strategy. Every camper – whether Red or Gray – is assigned certain roles that correlate to what they do in the game. The captains of the teams pick who the flag is, who the bombs are, and who the other roles in the game are played by. The ultimate goal is to protect the flag while using everyone else’s roles in the game to capture the other team’s flag. It was a lot of strategy and a lot of fun too which definitely made it my favorite evening program.
Which of the special events at camp is your favorite?
– I was a big fan of Treasure Hunt. I did it two years and I got to run both extremes of it – ‘A’ which includes easier clues but longer distance runs and ‘C’ which includes more challenging clues but shorter distance runs – and I loved both years so, yeah, I would definitely say Treasure Hunt.
Do you want to describe some of the friendships that you’ve made while at Winona?
– I have to say, it is just so different because you have this bond with the guys around you that comes with living together and seeing the same people all day, every day. In many situations you are forced to like someone that you may not even like from the start, but eventually you become very close to the point where they even become your brother. That basically describes the relationships I have with my friends from camp – they are my brothers.
I know this may be a tricky one, but what is one of, if not your favorite, memory of camp?
– Back in 2013 I had just broken my arm and I was really concerned with what I was going to do about camp. Despite my concerns Uncle Spencer and Aunt Laura, along with my counselor, talked with me and reassured me that it was the right decision to stay at camp. The support from them and mentorship that I had gotten from them was a theme that I can look back at and see in almost all of my times at Winona, whether it was from my counselors or the other campers around me. So it isn’t necessarily a specific memory, rather something I can look back on regarding my time at camp and consider it one of my favorite things.
As many of us know, the night before camp is very exciting – can you explain some of the feelings you have the night before camp?
– Oh my gosh. Yeah, the night before camp is a really, really interesting experience. Back when I was in Junior I would be terrified, you know, thinking about a month away from my parents was kind of uneasy, but after that first year I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve. I was just so excited, I couldn’t sleep, I was texting and calling my buddies figuring out what we were going to do that summer. To sum it up, I would just say total excitement!
What are you looking forward to most for the upcoming summer?
– I would say, aside from seeing all my buddies, just being able to learn more about being a leader. Especially using those kinds of experiences that I have gained from being at Winona and trying to help other campers be able to experience some of those. I also am just looking forward to learning a bit more about myself – which I do every summer while at Winona.
If you were talking to someone who had never been to camp before, what would you say and what is it that you would want to convey to him if he were interested in camp?
– I would say to start off, to a younger boy that is, that camp is one of those experiences that if you’ve never experienced an overnight kind of thing it isn’t easy at first. It is sometimes a tough thing to adjust to at first, but once you get over that hump every single second of camp is the greatest experience of your life. You get to learn so much from the counselors who are like your uncles, you get to make all these amazing connections with the boys around you and it is such a coming-of-age experience. The way I saw it was that you are transitioning from a young boy into a young man. It’s a really nice process how the counselors, Uncle Al, Aunt Michelle, Aunt Laura, and Uncle Spencer are all guiding you though that and making sure you have the greatest experience of all time.
Brix Brax, Nate!