Hello, hello!!!! I am Chris, returning for my ninth summer at Camp Augusta, packed to the brim with wish, wonder, and surprise.
I’m sure you have many questions, like maybe: “who is this guy?”. Or perhaps you are asking “how can this guy, who appears to be so young, be returning for a ninth summer?”. All of the questions that you find yourself asking are perfectly valid, and hopefully, if you read on, you will find the answers!
So who is this guy? Born as Christopher James Machle a little over 18 years ago, I am finding my way, doing whatever I can to learn how to make an intentional impact on the world. At the moment, this has taken the form of exploring the philosophies and experiences that Augusta has to offer, as well as preparing for my first year at the University of California, Berkeley. Although I have no idea what occupation I wish to pursue (brain research? clinical psychology? educational administration? who knows…), I do know that whatever I do, I want to be able to serve in some capacity, whether on an individual or societal level.
Backtracking a bit, I hail from Piedmont, a small city in California, where I have lived with my parents, two younger siblings, and the two dogs that have been in my life. Living within a small community, I learned the value of connection and unity from an early age. This depth of connection that has been present throughout my childhood is one of the staples here at Augusta. When away from camp, I still spend much of my time outdoors, running through the stunningly beautiful trails of the East Bay hills. Although my days of high school cross country, soccer, and track are now over, exercise remains a significant part of my life. Additionally, through singing and playing the electric bass, I have found a passion for music (which I love to talk about, especially if it’s classic rock).
As I was born about 18 years ago, Camp Augusta has been a meaningful part of my experience for half of my life. First coming to Augusta in 2008 as a camper, I instantly fell in love with these woods and what they have to offer. Although I could never articulate what made this place different than anywhere I had ever been, I felt and experienced the magic of Augusta in that first moment of camp. And for the past nine years, that ineffable magic has called me back. Of course, as I matured, I began to realize why I am so drawn to this place. It’s not simply the beauty of the woods, the unique offering of crazy clinics, or the delicious food, but the intention and perspective that surrounds every aspect of what we do here. Getting the first taste of what creates the Augustan magic in 2014 through CIRCLE, a teen leadership program here at camp that teaches youth from 16 to 18 communication techniques and life philosophies that will serve the participants for the rest of their lives, I grew in ways I could never have anticipated. Finding a passion for pushing myself out of my comfort zone in the pursuit of growth, I became a Junior Counselor the following year, cherishing the opportunities I had to learn and to give back to the community that had given me so much. Now, having completed the second phase of Junior Counselordom, I am preparing to transition into the full counselor role. I cannot wait to experience the memories, thrills, and growth that this next step has to offer!