Salut! My name is Sam Watters (a.k.a. Sam Pickles), hailing originally from Piedmont, California, but this year, I’m up in Washington at the University of Puget Sound as a freshman! I’m 19 years old, but most people might say I have the excitement and wackiness of any average twelve year old.
You may be asking, Hmmmm..? Sam Pickles? Who’s this jabroni? Well, the nickname came from back in elementary school one day when I had pickles on my sandwich for lunch and so… the legend of Sam Pickles was born! (I know, not much of a story).
I’ll be working at camp this summer for my first year as a counselor, but I went to Camp Augusta as a camper for five summers between fifth grade and my last until my final summer going into sophomore year of high school. I’m so excited to be going back to camp, this time as a counselor, and being able to see the secret workings of camp and all that it takes to make Camp Augusta so special.
Up in Tacoma this year, I recently declared as an English major student and I’m aiming towards going for a French minor as I’ve been taking French since seventh grade! I have recently fallen even more in love with writing, especially journaling, and so being able to center my college experience around what I love is a great opportunity for me. One goal I have after this summer at camp is to journal each day and to turn those journal entries into a story! I try and write a little bit each day about what I see, hear, and do! It’s fairly simple, but I find a lot of joy in it and being able to look back a month ago and know what I had that one night for dinner is pretty neat, if you ask me!
My biggest and most ambitious plan, by far, is to travel to Australia during next school year’s winter break. What am I going to do there? Not entirely sure yet, but I’m determined to make it happen. I’ve always had a desire to go there and one of my classes this semester, Travel Writing and The Other, has inspired me to, in a sense, just pick up and go! I’m sure going on my own might call for some troubles, but it’s those that make traveling even better! In the near future, though, first off I’m looking forward to my first summer back at camp! I know everyone working at camp are amazing people and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be part of that family. After the summer, and hopefully before my Australia excursion, I’m planning to come back here to UPS, work towards my major and minor, and hopefully get into the theater club. At Piedmont high school, I was in the theatre class during both freshman and sophomore year, but I’ve always wanted to get back into it ever since! I’ll be starting a felting club at school next year as well (I really love to felt) and will hopefully get some of my friends into it as well!
My biggest hobby by far is downhill longboarding. Throughout all of middle and high school, I would be out most afternoons, either with my friends or just on my own. There’s something I get from zooming down a hill that I haven’t experienced in anything else. Its taught me that when I fall down, make a mistake, or just feel too tired to keep going, the only way I’m going to get better is by getting back up! That’s what all of life is, too! Picking yourself up after you’ve been knocked down and pushing through! As I mentioned above, this year I’ve gotten into felting again (as in I did it at camp every summer) and so, my mom sends me felting kits every once and a while so I can create little animals! It’s a little quirky, but hey, I have fun with it! My best friends back home are in a band, and so something else I love doing is helping them set up for their shows and being in the crowd when they perform. It’s crazy that something as unique as music can bring so many people together. There’s nothing like dancing with someone you just met, but knowing that both of you have that same, mutual appreciation.
This year at school, the biggest thing other than work that eats up my time is being the goalkeeper for our club team. Though it’s rather casual, I love practicing during the week and having games on the weekends. I feel so at home with the team and the group of people I’ve met through club soccer has made my first year here even better. I’m also involved in my dorm’s RHA. Mr. Pickles, what is RHA? Good question! RHA stands for Resident Hall Association, and it’s a little like a middle/high school’s ASB, but instead, we have one for each dormitory on campus. We discuss budget, make events around campus, etc… and my job is to publicize it all with posters, flyers, and word of mouth!
Growing up in Piedmont for eleven years of my life, the biggest and best part of all of it was being a Boy Scout from fifth grade all the way until I turned 18 in December of 2017. For eight years, I got to experience places like Yosemite, Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, Kirby Cove, etc! Going to all these places with so many crazy, wild, and great people, I learned a lot about striving in the outdoors, being a leader, and how to appreciate nature. The pinnacle of it all was in my Eagle Project where I had the chance to plan, manage, and execute a project consisting of building four redwood planter tables for a local plant nursery. I could go on, and on, and on, about my love for the Boy Scouts and what they taught me and how I grew, but there’s too much to tell! All I can say is that becoming a Boy Scout was, without a doubt, the best decision I have ever made.
When I think about being at camp this summer, the thing that gets me most excited about all of it is teaching clinics. Camp Augusta offers so many great activities, ranging from zip lining in the trees to jewelry making, and to be able to teach some of those to all of the campers gets me so psyched! Like I said above, getting a chance to become part of the family that makes Camp Augusta as magical as it is, to be able to put all my energy and excitement into putting smiles on the faces of my campers, there’s nothing like it!
I have never had a job quite like being a camp counselor, but I babysat a lot, especially during my freshman and sophomore years of high school. I probably worked with fifteen different families and got a lot of experience working with kids ranging from as young as fourteen months all the way up to eleven or twelve years. Making funny faces, playing hide and seek, and constructing pillow forts are my three strong suits when it comes to working with kids and having as unique of a chance to work with them at Camp Augusta is so exciting for me.
As a counselor, the biggest thing I hope my campers take away from their time at camp is a sense of maturity, but with just as much of a sense of immaturity. With Cabin Activities and Evening Embers being two of the more serious and group oriented parts of camp, I want my campers to get in the habit of being able to work together, differences aside. On the flip side of that, daily clinics and games like capture the flag are the best opportunities for my campers to have as much fun as they possibly can! Camp can only be as fun as you make it, and I hope that with my campers, we all have the best time possible together!
The thing I like most about myself, other than my felting abilities, is my outgoing-ness. I’m comfortable with most anyone and I’ll always be the first to break the ice. With being at camp, I hope I can put a smile on each and everyone’s face! That’s the best part of being at camp; having a great time with people that you can share those experiences and memories with for a long time after!
It’s Goodnight, Never Goodbye is something someone at camp told me during my last summer as a camper and it’s stayed with me ever since. Being given the opportunity to work at camp is making that come true for me, and I couldn’t be more thankful.