We’re introducing our 2019 Camp Directors on the blog leading up to the summer season. This week, meet Carlie Pedersen, Teen Camp Director
Carlie Pedersen, Teen Camp Director
What has volunteering with Camp Rainbow Gold meant, or given, to you?
As a former camper, volunteering with Camp Rainbow Gold has allowed me to give back to a program that gave so much to me as a teenager. Every year at camp is like a recharge for the rest of the year. You are surrounded by amazing kids and volunteers who all care about and support each other. Camp is incredibly fun and life changing!
What is your favorite camp activity?
So many of the camp activities are fun. Everything from archery, to mountain biking, art shack, fencing, etc. However, my favorite moments at camp are the activities that allow kids to step out of their comfort zones, campfire is great for this and it is so fun to watch the kids feel empowered to get up and perform. I also love the downtime where the kids just hang out and connect with each other, sometimes those are the most special moments.
Why is this work important?
This work is important because it allows children who have been through so much in their lives to come together with others who understand them. It allows everyone to heal and be in a positive, loving environment which, in today’s day and age, can sometimes be hard to come by.
Why is the camp you oversee the best to volunteer at?
I direct Teen Camp. I don’t think that one camp is better than the other, they are all just different. Teen Camp is great because it is a little less chaotic than Sibling Camp, but a little busier and more fast-paced than Youth Camp, it’s a great balance between the two. I like Teen Camp because the kids are old enough that you can really connect with them and have great conversations. We are helping them to become amazing young adults. It is powerful to see teenagers come together and support and love each other, this isn’t often the case in the “real world”.
Apart from being a director, what was your favorite camp volunteer position?
Other than being a director, my favorite camp volunteer position was definitely being a counselor! Being a counselor and in the cabins with the kids is so fun! As a counselor, you connect with the kids in your cabin on a whole other level and create such special bonds.
What did you wish you would have known the first time you volunteered at camp?
I think it is important to remember that the week is going to fly by. You will probably be exhausted, but just know you will get through it and end up having a fun and fulfilling week. You may also feel a little nervous or unprepared coming into your first year at camp but remember that you have fellow volunteers and a leadership team who will do everything in their power to prepare and support you through the week. You’ve got this!