Interview with the Associate Director of Equestrian Camp

Jenny Nichols, our Associate Director of Equestrian Camp, has been working with horses for twenty years. This will be her third summer here at Camp Horizons.

1. How do you believe Equestrian helps kids?
I believe there are the physical advantages such as teaching balance, coordination, and stamina. It also teaches children a sense of grit and confidence that can help them be more aspirational, teach them about obstacles and also identify how to overcome those obstacles. Horseback riding teaches a different kind of team work which no other sport offers—working with their horse! This requires a certain kind of communication that helps kids become more compassionate as well.

2. Why did you choose to work with horses?
The education aspect was a huge draw for me. Horses possess a level of courage and eagerness to please that they pass on to every person they come in contact with. They also teach people the value of hard work and empathy.

3. What’s the best thing about working at a summer camp?
I love the kids who come back year after year and remember the name of every horse they rode. I also love to see the equestrian campers who memorize every fun fact about our horses; they go through the whole barn after the horse show to tell their parents about every single one. It’s always amazing to see the effect our horses and staff make on the kids.

4. What’s your favorite Equestrian Activity?
Man, I love me a good gallop across a wide open field. It’s so exhilarating! I also love the horse show we have at the end of each session of Equestrian Camp. It warms my heart to see happy kids and ponies, and proud parents.

5. Who is your favorite horse to ride?
I can’t pick a favorite! There are so many different amazing personalities and abilities in our herd here at camp. They all work so hard for me and are like my family. It would truly be like picking a favorite child!

Interview with the Associate Director of Outdoor Adventure Camp

John attended Lawrence University and graduated with a degree in History before beginning to work with children in the Pacific Northwest. He has been working at Camp Horizons since 2016.

1. Why do you think it’s important for kids to get outside?
I think that it is important for campers and students to build a connection to the outdoors and to a place through experiences. In today’s world, we can look at all of the amazing places around the world through technology but there is something about going out and experiencing it for yourself the you can’t replace. I have been fortunate enough to travel across the United States multiple times and each time, I gain an appreciation for how large and diverse the natural world is that we live in.

2. Why did you choose to work at a summer camp?
I love working at summer camps because everyone is there for the same purpose and goal. To have fun!! Campers and staff alike come to camp to share in experiences and to try new things. I love being able to share in new discoveries with campers and show them something that they can take home with them.

3. What is your favorite thing about working at Camp Horizons?
My favorite thing about Camp Horizons is my ability to do something new every day. Every day presents new opportunities or new challenges or new interactions with campers and students. This constantly challenges me to become better and to push my own knowledge and limits.

4. What is your favorite outdoor activity?
I love building campfires. There is something about building a proper campfire that brings people around it and is just peaceful. Also, there is nothing better than cooking over a campfire that you have just built.

5. What is your favorite Adventure Camp Trip?
Anything that involves whitewater rafting. It is one of those trips that you don’t get to do very often but you will remember. Every time you are on a river, the conditions and guides are different which allows you to have a new challenging trip each time.

Interview with the Associate Director of Leadership Camp

Harriet Flynn earned her degree from in Parks and Outdoor Recreation from George Mason University, and has been working in the industry for the past 7 years.

1. Why do you think it’s important for rising seniors to participate in Leadership Camp?

Leadership Camp provides rising seniors the opportunity to step up and learn how to be a leader. Throughout high school some students get to have leadership opportunities in clubs, sports, or student government, but often those roles are given to students who appear to be “natural leaders” and lack a mentorship component. Here at camp we believe that every camper has the ability to be a leader and we help them learn what that looks like for them. Every Leadership Camper will leave with more confidence in their public speaking abilities, a greater pride in who they are, and strong bonds with other Leadership Campers (LCs).
The Leadership program also looks great on a college application or work resume!

2. Why did you choose to work at a summer camp?

I chose to work at summer camp because when I was 16 I did a program similar to Leadership Camp and it changed my life! I loved every second of being an LC, learned a lot about leadership and program planning, and made amazing memories and friends. By the end of my time as an LC I knew that I wanted to work at summer camp forever!

3. What is the best thing about working at Camp Horizons?

I love how much fun we get to have, from the activity periods to the large camp games to running around in the rain. Having random unplanned fun is my favorite and the LCs definitely get to have lots of it.

4. What is your favorite part of the Leadership Program?

My favorite part of the Leadership Program is getting to watch each LC grow throughout the four weeks and seeing them lead activities and cabin time. I also love our lesson times each day when it is just the LCs and coordinators getting to discuss what is important to each person and learning more about each other.

5. How do you think the Leadership Campers will benefit from this program?

LCs will benefit from this program because they will learn different forms of leadership and practically what those look like in different settings. They will learn how to deal with conflict and how to work in a good to reach a common goal.