We were so lucky to have Matt (Jacko) & Ashleigh with us this summer. Here are some thoughts from Matt. He can be reached at email@example.com.
For my wife Ashleigh and I, like many of you, we headed into the summer with a lot of uncertainty. The sleepaway camp that we spend our summers at didn’t open and we began to talk about how different our summer would be if we could not be a part of a camp community. Lucky for us, an opportunity to help out at Shibley Lite presented itself. We both had relationships with Heath, Randi, Danny and Bob previously, so much like a parent deciding on Shibley for their child, we trusted that this was the kind of community we were looking for. That being said, we entered the summer at a brand new camp not knowing exactly what to expect.
What we learned quickly is that we were surrounded by a group of caring and dedicated staff that had a deep and passionate spirit for all things Shibley. We knew the leadership team lived and breathed camp but when we saw those same strong vibes during the two days of staff orientation, it got us super excited for the summer to come. The “Shibley, Shibley” spirit is special and even in a camp profession where there is no shortage of love for camp, it stood out to us as a unique community. We also left orientation knowing that the priority would be safety in an unprecedented and unpredictable summer. As camp leaders, safety is always number one but it had never been a more challenging proposition than this summer and under Heath and Randi’s leadership, we as a staff felt ready!
I spent my summer as a Group Leader while my wife, Ashleigh was the COVID Testing Coordinator and also supervised the Health Center. Two very different positions to be sure! For me, it had been a few summers since I had worked directly with kids. It was so fulfilling! We loved seeing the campers and staff benefit from the gifts that camp gives all of us at a time when it was so needed. Below is an excerpt from my final newsletter to the parents of the 6th and 7th grade boys I spent most of the summer with.
On a personal note, after spending every summer since I was 9 at sleepaway camp I entered this summer in unchartered territory after my camp ended up postponing. I consider myself really lucky to have found Shibley and for having the opportunity to have a summer experience with your boys. I love the community that camp creates and fosters and I was not looking forward to a summer without that. Evan, Aaron and I thank you for trusting us to keep your boys safe during these unprecedented times. Wishing you all a safe fall with the hope that getting back to a somewhat normal way of life is somewhere on the horizon.
All the best,
Ashleigh and I, like many of you, are now proud members of the Shibley family. Quite often the past few weeks we have found ourselves reminiscing about both the funny and touching memories we had this summer. It is comforting that even though we are spending a lot of time together alone in our home, the friendships we made at Shibley are very much with us.