Corey Perkins first started as a camper in cabin 5B nine years ago, in 2013. Like many others who come to West End for the first time, his family had a strong connection to camp. Corey, dubbed “C Perk” and “CP3” by his bunkmates, has three cousins, and an uncle that came to camp before him. John Almeida, his oldest cousin attended as a camper from 2005-2010. You can catch his name on the 5 year Plaque in the Mess Hall. His other two cousins David and Derrick Scott came to camp for 1 year in 2010, and his uncle Dave Scott attended in 1987. “They told me about all the time you get to spend playing sports, which of course I loved, but didn’t really believe. To be honest I was really nervous my first year. I didn’t exactly know what to expect or what I was getting myself into.”
The cancellation of the 2020 camp season prevented Corey and his Gottlieb and G1 bunkmates from their inaugural summer on staff as CITs, but nonetheless he is excited to be a Junior Counselor this year. “I was really looking forward on my first year as a CIT (counselor in training) on staff because you get to make that transition from being a camper and playing to watching and coaching, and I was looking forward to that very much. I know that we all missed out on a great time not being at camp in 2020.“
What were his first memories of camp? “My first memories of camp were getting on the bus (to camp) with George Zabolou, Dante Barbosa, and Omar Quilter with Devonte and Tyrese Sealy. I also remember bunking in 5B with Nasir Simon and Brian Barrea.”
Aside from the obvious answer of “playing sports”, I wanted Corey to share more about his favorite activities at camp. “I love the events we have at the end of every session like World Cup, Desert War, and Color War. I love Challenge The Staff, and Fortnite was definitely the best activity in 2019. Shoutout to Nick Silva and Josh Wolf for putting it together!”
The topic of camp food is always one that stirs up discussion. Everyone has their favorite meals at camp. What are Corey’s? “I love the pancakes, especially with oatmeal and milk. I´m also a very big fan of beef and chicken fajitas.” I can’t disagree there! Fajitas are definitely a big hit in the mess hall.
After almost a decade at WEHC, I knew asking him about his favorite camp memory would be challenging. “To be honest I can’t choose, but it might be my game winning shot during High Senior Color War basketball. It was a tight game all game, very defensive on both sides of the ball. It was a pretty low scoring game as well. There were a lot of bucket getters in our Gottlieb and G1, so every rebound and every defensive play mattered in this game. It was the end of the 4th quarter, and we had come back from being down 9 points. Both teams were going back and forth scoring on each other, and then with 50 seconds left, Jaidan Russell did some Wilt Chamberlain type rebound with one hand (it was really one the best rebounds I’ve seen ever), gave me the ball, and I took a deep three, banked it, and ran back down the court. Ryan Torres missed a three pointer, I got the rebound and was fouled right away. As the great Ry Guy says in the Spirit, it was swish, swish, game over.”
I was curious if he had any other Color War memories to share. For all those reading, Corey was High Senior Captain for Blue Heist in 2019. “So many memories during Color War, and definitely some more lows than highs. I would have to say my best memory was going 600 Club with the White Samurai. Being HSC was cool but we lost so I am still kind of disappointed in that. Going 600 was very surprising because going into Color War we didn’t really expect to go 600 Club. The shocked look we all saw on Sam Eggert´s face when the final score was read said it all. With my camper career winding down it’s just another thing you can say you achieved while at camp.”
As Corey prepares to transition from camper to counselor, I thought it was a good time to have him think about his years at camp, and the life lessons he has learned from the experience.
“Camp has definitely taught me independence skills, and I can say WEHC has made me a better person by teaching me responsibility. Some parts of life are not just about fun and games. Sometimes you have a job to do. Camp has taught me that.”-Corey Perkins
If you have gone to West End House Camp anytime over the last half century, you have certainly met our Executive Director Bill Margolin. Bill has mentored and inspired thousands of young people over the years. His impact on Corey definitely showed when I asked about Bill’s influence on him.
“Bill is like the Superman of West End. He has seen it all and he knows it all. For him to be at camp still working as hard as he does is really motivating. I and all campers have looked up to Bill ever since we were little kids, and he has never disappointed us. Having Bill in my life has really taught me a lot! And he still makes sure to tell the best stories during the summer. Overall, Snoopy is a legend in my eyes, and a great man to all.”
The final question I had for Corey “CP3” Perkins had to do with being “one of the boys”. We talk about it a lot at WEHC, and we even sing about it in our camp song. But what does it mean to the WEHC campers and staff of today? “One of the first things Steve Lepler says to everyone when they get to camp is when you come to West End you make friends for life, and boy he wasn’t wrong. When I come to camp I feel good knowing that I am surrounded by people I consider some of my best friends. After bunking with these guys for so long, some more than 8 years, my bond with them is so deep. It’s to the point where I can call them my brothers because we have all built that kind of bond and relationship with one another. When you’re one of the boys, you’re always one of the boys!”