Hey there, I’m Chandler! (If I were a zombie my name would be Shambler).
I grew up in Western Massachusetts, but I’ll be coming to Camp Augusta from Brooklyn, New York where I live now! I’m so excited for my first summer at Camp Augusta! I’m 25, and thrilled to be wrapping up this quarter-of-a-century year of my life at camp.
Camp is my lifelong love. I grew up going to a camp called Bement where I learned to love all-things camping from ropes courses to campfires to going on a wild cheese moose hunt (ask me about the cheese meese!). To my dismay, Bement shut down when I started high school, but it still holds a special place in my heart! Here’s me at Bement ready to go on the high-ropes course:
In high school I went to a marine biology camp in the Florida Keys called Seacamp. At Seacamp I became fascinated with scientific names. My favorite is Sphyrna Mokarran (the great hammerhead). If you know some cool scientific names please share them! Seacamp is also where I learned to love sharks. Here’s me with a nurse shark named Harley that we looked after in our shark biology class:
For the past 4 years I have worked at a public policy think tank in New York City, working to create an inclusive and equitable democracy and economy. Despite having a full-time nonprofit job, camp has remained an important part of my life. I spent 2 summers as a counselor for Sea Turtle Camp, leading a trip doing Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica. Here’s me with a freshly-hatched baby leatherback!
I also spent a summer as a Trip Leader for the Rites of Passage program at Camp Dogwood in Virginia. I taught leadership and outdoor survival skills to teens, and led backpacking trips on the AT through Shenandoah National Park. (Since that summer I’ve dreamed of through-hiking the AT one day).
In case you’re curious here’s the rest of my bucket list:
- Eat a banana split (I know! How have I not done this yet?)
- Visit the Amazon rainforest and see a Kapok tree
- See the northern lights from Iceland
- Out of all the U.S. National Parks there are 59 that contain the phrase “National Park” in their title. I want to visit all of them. So far, I’ve only visited 3, so I have catching up to do!
- SCUBA dive on the Great Barrier Reef
- See a narwhal in the wild
- Visit the Galapagos and see a Galapagos tortoise and a blue footed booby (Blue footed boobies are my favorite bird! If you’ve never seen one before I recommend looking them up – They’re so cool looking!)
- Ride in a hot air balloon
I love to ride my bike and go rock climbing. I climbed a few times when I was little (check out a sweet pic of that below!), but I took it back up in earnest again in the past few years. My goal for this year is to climb a 5.11 without taking. I volunteer with an LGBTQ rock climbing non-profit called CRUX, doing development work and hosting climbing nights. Here’s me this past summer climbing with CRUX at Rumney in New Hampshire, and a few other pictures of me doing climbing-related activities!
Other than climbing, I love water sports, particularly kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. Last summer I took my first surf lesson, and I hope to get to try it again soon. I love the sun, and I’m a bit like a sunflower — I require a lot of water and sun! But despite being sun-obsessed my favorite weather is a sudden and absolutely torrential downpour (as long as they come few and far-between). I love to sing and dance, and I love animals of all kinds! I volunteer at an animal sanctuary in upstate New York where I get to hang out with cows, pigs, chickens, and so many other amazing animals. I also love to do crafts, particularly embroidery, painting, and making friendship bracelets. Here are some pictures of me doing those things that I love!
I come from a big family — I’m the oldest of four. My three younger siblings are some of the dreamiest humans around. There are six of us including my parents, and seven if you include our delightful dog, Loki! Loki is a pitbull-lab mix who we fostered and ended up adopting when we couldn’t stand to see him go. He walks backward through doorways and likes to wear costumes. My brother Rollin is a year younger than I am. Once I arrived late to a family vacation and my brother swam out to meet my paddleboard and tried to get on to give me a hug (he ended up flipping me over). Check out a picture below minutes before I was in the water. Then I have two siblings, Wade and Lane who are 7 and 8 years younger than I am and both still in High School.
Here are 10 more fun facts about me (lists of 10 are nice I think):
- I’m a NAUI certified master SCUBA diver.
- I took 6 years of Chinese in middle and high school, and I’ve recently been doing Duolingo to try and get it back.
- I’ve played 5 seasons on a shuffleboard team called The Shady Pines Shufflers.
- The best prank I’ve ever pulled was when my coworker was on vacation I covered his desk in pictures of Nicholas Cage, and even hid pictures in his drawers and folders to find days later.
- In high school I was a ski racer, but these days I prefer to ski in the glades rather than on the race course.
- When I was little I raised rabbits and showed them at fairs. My team once won the National American Rabbit Breeders Association rabbit judging competition.
- If I could have any pet, I would want a pet cow.
- My favorite color is green. Specifically, I love the color of honey dew melon.
- I’m vegan and used to run a vegan instagram (mostly to give me a reason to try awesome vegan restaurants everywhere I travel).
- I love sharks, and I used to co-teach a program called the Shark Conservation Education Project with my friend Catie where we taught school and community groups about sharks and shark conservation. When I graduated from High School my grandma and I went to Mexico to swim with Whale Sharks and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. (Ask me about cool shark facts!)
I’m so excited to meet all of you! I hope that we have a fantastic time climbing, dressing up, capturing flags, and telling jokes. I love riddles, so be prepared for lots of them! (and if you stump me with a new riddle I will be over the moon!) I’m excited to have silly mornings and deep conversations at night, and hopefully leave with all of us knowing more about how we think and what we value. Be prepared for lots of questions about who you are and what you love. I can’t wait to learn what makes you uniquely you!