What is your name? Cristian Martinez
Do you have a nickname at camp? CMart
What was your first year at camp and what/who brought you to WEHC? My First year I believe was in 2014. I had a friend from the Boys and Girls Club of Brighton whose name was Connor Zhong. He told me I should really come to camp because of how fun it was, so I did. I went for 2 weeks, during Desert War. I wish I would’ve stayed longer that year, but I unfortunately couldn’t. So I signed up for 8 weeks the following summer, and each one since.
How many years have you attended camp as a camper and counselor? I’ve attended the camp for 6 years going for my 7th this year, and this will be my second year on staff.
What are your first memories of camp? I’d say arriving at WEHC my first year, and stepping foot in the Council Ring for the first time. Then walking around the Mess Hall, and my bunk. Overall I remember just being really filled with excitement, and always looking forward to the next day.
What are your favorite activities at camp? Waterfront activities, and Leagues (when I liked the sport). Gold Rush, Desert War, and Color War are my favorites because of the intensity. Casino nights are fun because they are set up at the waterfront and have a cool vibe. You don’t hear this often but I really enjoy Auction Part 1. There is just something about cleaning with your bunk and making the best out of the situation you’re in by just having a good time.
What is your favorite meal? Tough question! I’m a big fan of the pizza, burgers, even the deli sandwiches. But if I had to choose only one meal from camp I’m choosing Egg McWestEnds.
What is your favorite memory? That’s really hard, and I don’t think I can really give you an answer to that question. It feels like everyday for the past 6 years I am constantly making new favorite memories. Each day at camp with my friends is just a lot of fun.
What is your best Color War memory? My best Color War Memory would be my first Color War in general, because I had no Idea what it was going to be like. So when it did start, it was mind blowing because I finally understood what the hype was all about.
What keeps you coming back? Definitely my friends, or my brothers I should say. That’s because there never seems to be a dull moment between all of us.
I think that feeling of brotherhood is why we all return each summer.
What is your funniest story? That’s another tough question! There are just too many to choose from!
Is there a life lesson you learned at camp? Keep working hard, even after failure. There were a lot of times in Leagues and Color War where I messed up or things didn’t turn out the way I wanted, especially during my last summer as a camper, but I didn’t let that stop me. I’d just brush it off and keep on going. A lot of people from camp and back home know me for my “Never give up” attitude.
“The L in Loss stands for Lesson, so we should never take a loss so personal. We should take it as a chance to improve.”
What is Bill Margolin’s influence on your life? Bill has always been a big part of the WEHC, but he’s also always been a big part of the West End House organization. From when I was 7 years old attending the Boys and Girls Club of Brighton I knew Bill as a huge contributor to our club. Being a member of the Club for maybe 12 years now, and thinking about the impact it has had in my life I also want to contribute behind the scenes someday to make sure the future is bright for the youth as well.
What is an example of how important it is to be “one of the boys”? Once you’re one of the boys you’re always one of the boys you know. Of course you build long lasting friendships with the people around you when you are at West End. Whenever I meet Alumni that have attended the camp, It’s like you just have an instant connection with them. It’s great to be able to share stories with others from different eras of camp.
“When you’re one of the boys is basically another way of saying “we are family.”
Example of a random West End connection/run in? I wouldn’t consider it a random connection but more of like a mentor type of bond. One summer I attended Red Auerbach Basketball Camp and the person who runs the camp is Steve Curley, an Alumni of the Boys Camp so when other people from the Club told him that I attended the Camp, he was really excited to meet me and I felt the same way. When we met we started talking immediately about our times at camp, basketball, his football days and many other things as well. What really created our bond is how much he believed in me on and off the court. He knows that whatever it is that I do in the future, I’m going to put my mind to it to make sure it’s successful.
Anything else you would like to mention? I am just really looking forward to what the next camp season brings. My job is to make sure kids are happy and having a good time, and I’m going to make sure of that!