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The Holiday Season and Cherishing Connection with Celebrity Counselors

As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, connecting with family, loved ones and friends feels more important than ever. Hopefully you were able to stop over to the Fall Family Fun event in Pottersville and reconnect with some faces from the Pingry Family this past Sunday. If so, you were able to kick Thanksgiving month off with a buzzing spirit, love, laughter and super summer energy! The donut float truck was definitely a great addition to this Sunday gathering as well. Above all, connecting in Pottersville was a great reminder that it is always a good idea and never too late to hang and play with summer friends!

While exploring the Pingry Pottersville campus, the itch to get moving and get outdoors became engrossing for all in attendance. The ideas and activities of what can and will be this coming summer race through the members of the Pingry summer staff’s minds and an eagerness to skip the Winter months ahead is clear (but let’s not skip the holiday presents!). Seeing campers interact with Pingry staff also fills our hearts with joy and reminds me just how influential my own counselors have and continue to be in my life. I was also starkly reminded of this fact and the impact my counselors have had on me when I turned on my TV the other night and saw an incredible influence in my life compete in one of the most awe-inspiring and challenging competitions on TV….Survivor Season 41.

Evvie Jagoda (they/them) was my counselor for two years and created a camp atmosphere that was incomparable and is forever imprinted in my mind. It is not at all a surprise that Evvie is crushing this season of Survivor and accomplishing much in their own life, pursuing a PHd in human evolutionary biology, is just one of Evvie’s many callings. Seeing Evvie’s energy on Survivor has brought me right back to moments in camp that truly shaped me into the person I am today. Evvie was an energy ball at camp, any room they were in was not just a great one to be in, but the room to be in.

Seeing a person who holds such contagious energy while also being able to empathize and listen to campers, co-counselors and friends was such a joy and a role model for me and all the people in my bunk. Evvie and many of my counselors were the ones who showed me how to navigate camp and life. Counselors invested in campers friendships at an age where we as campers were not really able to understand how to do so ourselves. Many of these counselor originated friendships have continued to this day. My counselors guided my fellow campers and I through the best and most challenging moments of our most formative years. They felt like celebrities to us who we got the pristine honor of becoming great friends with and that feeling was truly unrivaled. Now, Evvie is an actual celebrity. I am incredibly thankful for these influences in my life and all the lessons they taught me. I am also incredibly grateful to be a small part in this same magic when it happens at Pingry Summer programs.