WHO exactly is this Isaac person?
In the World: A tall wordy spark of inquisitivity and excitement. A lover of words and numbers, logic and nonsense. A rambling hiker, curious reader, fountain of riddles, songs, stories, and games.
At Camp: Several wizards, one of which might foment sedition or ask you to eat a bug, another might be trying to kill the whole cabin or just make friends. Also a mad babbling time traveler, a confident super-speeding hero, a devious mastermind, a wise hermit, a research foundation president, or Rodeo Elvis.
WHAT does he do?
In the World: keep finding cool places to scramble on rocks and play with props. Share logic puzzles, historical tidbits, or secret trick games that make no sense until suddenly they’re obvious. Practice new skills from bowdrill firemaking and unicycling to assertive communication and reflective listening.
At Camp: High ropes facilitation, spending as much time in the trees as he can manage. Lots of shouting and running, at the same time or separately, likely with a foam sword, nerf gun, and a silly voice. Flow arts coaching, playing with props in spare moments, and spinning fire at campfire, maybe preparing campers to spin fire themselves. Starting conversations about hypotheticals, and what people really want and need. Leading adventures and sharing moments and creating memories. Trying to be the one having the most fun.
WHERE has he been already?
In the World: studying a semester in New Zealand, teaching English in Russia, exploring waterfalls and canyons in Iceland. Outdoor education in SoCal, maintaining a red center and learning to ski in Montana, sitting in the dirt and feelings in wilderness therapy in Utah.
At Camp: A hundred feet above the forest, running Canopy Zip Tour for the very-manyth time. Campfire circle, flinging a flaming prop at opening campfire. The Outpost, taking a cabin for some solo reflection and an overnight.
WHEN are the moments he remembers?
In the World: Wading a frigid river of Icelandic glacial melt to hike the edge of a fjord to reach the waterfall at the back. Taking in the panorama from the top of Mt. Luxmore on NZ’s South Island. Taking sixth-graders from the city on night hikes to see a clear night of stars for the first time in their lives. Stopping a group along a hike to smash ice on puddles, and singing along at night to the beat of banging sticks on a rusty hubcap.
At Camp: Rallying a cabin to organize a resistance to a powerful dictator with a nighttime raid. Holding the camp spellbound while spinning an elaborate shaggy-dog or surrealistic meta-fable on storytelling night. Growling in approval as kids’ RC cars, covered in screws and knives, try to pop other cars’ balloons. A smile of shared pride with a flow-arts clinic course group after a performance at closing campfire.
HOW does he like to do it?
In the World: Always looking for something to work on, get better at, or learn. Sheer stubbornness, when things get tough, to show up, one day or hour to the next. Humor, in all circumstances. Encouragement, to kids facing challenges from sharing emotions to completing a hike.
At Camp: Immersion in the magic, taking a character and sticking with it. Perpetual excitement for what’s coming up – tonight’s evening program, today’s cabin activity, something mischievous for tomorrow’s wakeup.
WHY does he keep doing it all?
In the World: Always somewhere new to explore, new kids to get to know, new chances to hang a pun on a turn of phrase. Getting to stay outside, sleep on the ground, marvel at the sky from morning to night. Snow and sun and cloud and wind. Working with passionate caring people. Still learning more about emotional health and showing up for self and others. Five years into being outside a lot around kids, and not quite done with it yet.
At Camp: Still not bored of Canopy Tour, and a brand-new ropes course to explore. Need to find a new story to tell each Saturday night. A new round of evening program characters to take on. Working with imaginative wonderful people. Still dreaming up new cabin activities, embers conversations, wakeup shenanigans. Five summers of camp magic, and not quite done with it yet.