When was your first year at camp, and who or what brought you to WEHC?
In April of 2022, I discovered that WEHC needed an Admin Coordinator. Jetting from Kansas City, MO, I was excited to tour camp with Ryan Wilensky. He shared some history, previous years’ camp tales, and showed me the beautiful cabin that I would stay in. I fell in love with the grounds, and grew even more excited to spend my summers in New England. When I returned for camp two months later, I was ready for an exciting beginning, and to see camp come alive.
Do you have a nickname at camp?
There were a couple of ‘Hanners, Hannah Banana, or Hannah Montana’s’ that were thrown about, but I don’t think any of them stuck.
What are your first memories of West End?
I Googled “West End House Camp” and “Parsonsfield, Maine”, before I applied for the role and found that WEHC does some amazing things to support the community, kids, and young adults. I was excited to be considered as part of the team!
Do you have a favorite camp activity?
I really enjoy watching the water activities, especially the one during World Cup where canoes are together and the teams race (Regatta). It’s a lot of fun to watch everyone compete. Song Night, Cake and Milk, and helping with Canteen are others that I enjoy.
What is your favorite meal in the mess hall?
I like a few slices of pizza on Friday nights. However, when biscuits and gravy are served for breakfast, I’m its number one fan.
What is your favorite camp memory?
My first summer was quite fun for me to understand “what camp is like.” I loved getting to talk to and getting to know some of the campers and staff while also developing deeper connections with the Leadership Team.
What is it that keeps you coming back to WEHC?
Is it too cliche to say, ‘all the smiles?’ Preparing for camp is like pre-production on a play or movie. It’s amazing to see all the hard work that everyone puts in behind the scenes and during the off-season in order to keep camp going. We do it for the kids, the staff, and the families. But it has been pretty amazing for me to be a part of it as well. I definitely can’t wait for ‘23!
Can you share a funny story from or about camp?
I spent a lot of time in the Kezar during the day, so I was usually available to make announcements. I’d never spoken on an intercom/loudspeaker before, so I had a bit of stage fright and probably mispronounced a lot of campers’ names, but I learned! One day, when it was raining, Josh Daigle and I created a “Let it Rain Playlist” and played it for all to hear. If no one else laughed, we sure did.
What is a life lesson you learned from going to West End House Camp?
Watching some of the younger kids was quite an inspiration, especially when they tried a new sport or progressed positively in their activity. They grew a little every day, even when it was hard. I took that home with me.
Bill Margolin means a lot to so many people, how has he had an influence on your life?
I am incredibly impressed by Bill and Bryna’s generosity, even towards strangers. They had not met me in person before they gave me the gift of transportation and let me borrow their car for the summer. It was very helpful to run camp errands! Their love for camp and the kids is contagious.
What does it mean to be ‘one of the boys’, and how important is that to you?
There are so many great morals and values instilled in the WEHC boys, and they are very respectful. It has been a really cool experience to observe a brotherhood and bonds that go back generations. Everyone with whom I interacted made me feel like part of the family. Even being a woman, I feel like I’m ‘one of the boys’ on Long Pond.