What was your first year at camp, and who or what brought you to WEHC?
My father (John Zinman) started bringing me to camp for a weekend every summer from 2006-2011. My first year at camp as a camper was 2012.
Do you have a nickname at camp?
Everybody calls me Zinman but my favorite is definitely Zinny.
How many years have you attended camp as a camper and counselor?
This summer is definitely a special one for me as it is my 10th year total at West End. I was a camper for 6 years and this will be my 4th on staff.
What are your first memories of West End?
My first memories of West End actually sit right in the mess hall! When my father took me to visit, I vividly remember posing for the diving board picture and jumping into the 3rd pool flexing my muscles!
What were your favorite camp activities as a camper? As a counselor?
I feel like the obvious answer is Color War, but Watermelon will always have a special place in my heart. Hanging out, playing softball every Sunday at sunset in Parsonsfield… it doesn’t get much better than that!
What is your favorite meal in the mess hall?
I gotta go with Mac and Cheese all day baby! I’ve been at West End for a lot of cooks but the Mac and Cheese has always been consistently amazing.
What is your favorite camp memory?
This is definitely the toughest question yet. I want to say going to “600 Club” on the White Rumble in 2014. Despite my division being the only losing one, it was so much fun. My dad was a coach on the Blue Platoon and White Vice so growing up he would always tell me stories about going 600 Club and for me to do it just 3 years into my time at WEHC was pretty special.
What is it that keeps you coming back to WEHC?
The brotherhood most definitely. Over the past 10 years I have made countless memories with people I am grateful to call my friends. The saying “When you’re one of the boys, you’re always one of the boys” is absolutely true.
Can you share a funny story from or about camp?
I missed my first ever Color War break (the start of Color War). The night activity was Gladiators in 2012 and there was an event at the ball fields. After that we were told to go to the Council Ring. I believe I was going to the bathroom and was late getting there. I remember the runners hiding behind the benches across from the entrance of camp with a walkie, giving the countdown for the people to drop the shutters. I guess my camp IQ was already elite, as I just started booking it to the fields. I was the first person up there and anxiously waited for the rest of camp to join me!
What is the best Color War memory you have?
There have been so many, but I have to go with my coach’s entrance in 2021. I dreamed of being a coach for a long time and seeing my favorite counselors do their entrances over the years definitely made the wait worth it. Everyone is chanting your name and so excited to see you run out. It is definitely one of my favorite Color War memories.
A life lesson you learned from going to West End House Camp?
Never give up. There were countless times during camp where my limits have been pushed whether it’s Color War, Desert War, Leagues, or just a night activity. Keep going because you never know, you could end up like the Blue Order in 2017 or Venom in 2021!
Bill Margolin means a lot to so many people, how has he had an influence on your life?
I have known Bill for almost my whole life. In my earliest West End memories, he was always there. Bill is one of those people in life where when he talks, you listen. He treats every camper and staff like he’s known them for his whole life. He’s given me amazing advice and is the ideal role model for myself and everybody else in the West End community.
What does it mean to be ‘one of the boys’, and how important is that to you?
Once you go to West End you join a brotherhood that not only lasts the 2,4,6 or 8 weeks you’re there, but carries on past that. You can go years without seeing somebody from camp but when you run into another West Ender in public, everything stops and it feels as if you never left camp. I’m so lucky to have made so many amazing friends over the years and the bonds and relationships I’ve created are extremely important to me!
Can you give an example of a random West End run in or connection you’ve had outside of camp?
I was visiting my sister at The University of Alabama in my junior year of high school. My dad was in ZBT (Zeta Beta Tau), so we went over to their house to check it out. We were standing in the living room and Evan Swartz walked up to us and we had a great conversation about West End and Alabama.