Third Time’s a Charm! – Staff Reflections from Michael

posted: October 5, 2023By:

My first summer working at Shibley was the summer of 2021, and I went in not knowing what to expect. What I got out of it was an amazing, fun, and unforgettable experience. I met many new people who I am proud to now call friends.

So, with something that great, how could summer two top or match that thrill the second time around? Well, somehow the Shibley magic made it possible, and summer two was just as good, and in some respects, better than the first one.

In all honesty, I almost passed on summer three due to my other work obligations as a Teacher’s Assistant. But something just told me to do all I could to make a Shibley return possible.  I’m happy I listened to that little voice in my head, because summer three was another great one!

This year, I once again returned as an Adventure Park Specialist in addition to working at Morning Care & After Care supervising campers who arrived early and/or stayed later than the rest.

Going into summer 2023 we were told that the number of kids who would attend camp was growing again. When I first heard this would be the case, full disclosure, I wasn’t sure if Shibley would be able to keep its sense of wonder, with all the extra campers.

I’m not exaggerating when I say this was the most successful summer I’ve worked at Shibley. While I did notice a much busier atmosphere, I also saw a dedicated staff of professionals that exceeded all expectations. Everyone put their best foot forward, and made sure, despite working harder, not to lose the sense of wonder that makes Shibley such a special place. It was impressive and important that I also saw a huge increase in diversity amongst campers and staff.

Each summer the last day is always sad. But this is the first year I can remember seeing just as many of the staff crying as the campers. One of my favorite things about working at Shibley are the friendships. Whether they are new ones created, or old ones that began during previous summers, Shibley has an environment that always makes you feel like you are part of a community throughout the whole year, even after summer ends.

I know the Shibley grounds like the back of my hand and there’s a sense of warmth I get whenever I walk the paved path through them. Shibley will always be my summer home. Even if there comes a day when life prevents me from returning for another great summer, I will never forget the memories I shared here, and I will always consider myself a member of the Shibley family.