Shane: Camper to Leader
“Helping her try something new made me feel proud.”
That’s how Shane describes his experience helping a camper – who had never been on a bicycle before – give it a try.
After 10 years of being a camper himself, this summer, at age 18, Shane worked at Pine Tree Camp as part of camp’s Leadership in Training pilot program.
“Shane has a natural leadership ability that Pine Tree Camp’s Leadership in Training Program enhanced,” said his mother, Kristine. “He just turned 18 and is coming into his own and at a point when he’s transitioning in life. They were very supportive of his growth and the job just clicked with him. The program team saw his strengths and placed him in roles he was really good at. They wanted him to succeed.”
The last weekend of his job, Kristine was able to come and stay overnight and see him in action.
“I saw him teach five different families how to play bocce ball and lead them in a mini tournament. I was really proud of him because he had the confidence to do that,” Kristine continued. “There was also a young camper there who really looked up to Shane.”
“Shane likes to ‘woo hoo!’ and this little kid followed him around all day saying ‘woo hoo!’ after him. Shane has always looked up to his counselors, and I think it’s really important for his confidence for other kids to see him as a role model and say ‘I can be like him’.”
Shane could see his own personal growth as well. “Leading these activities allowed me to build extra confidence in my leadership abilities and made me feel safer trying to lead in new situations,” he said.
Shane is going to college in the fall and plans to study computers. Based on his experience with Pine Tree Camp’s Leadership in Training Program, he’s now considering leisure and recreation as a minor.
He has so many childhood memories at Pine Tree Camp and, this summer, through his job, he helped others make memories, as well.
“It’s the best first job ever! You get to meet so many different people, and you learn a lot about different ways to communicate,” he said. “I definitely want to come back and do it again next year.”