Justine was born and raised in a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada. After finishing high school, she attended Dalhousie University, where she got a degree in Kinesiology. From there, she wanted to further her studies in healthcare and is currently finishing up her second year at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto, Canada. Justine has a passion for children, and hopes to be able to specialize in Pediatric care when she is in practice.
Justine first went to camp when she was 6 months old – a family camp that she still attends every year. Throughout her childhood, she attended various camps, but nothing ever quite like Camp Echo Lake. Last year was Justine’s first summer at Echo Lake; she only wishes that she had gone sooner. She cannot wait to get back to see old friends, make new ones, and work together to give the campers the best summer ever!
How many summers have you spent at Camp Echo Lake, and what brought you here in the first place?
This will be my 2nd summer at Camp Echo Lake. My best friend’s sister worked at Echo Lake for 7 summers and she always had so many positive things to say about camp, so I thought I should check it out for myself.
How do you spend the 10 months waiting for camp to start?
I spend the 10 months waiting for camp studying chiropractic. I am currently finishing up my second year at CMCC in Toronto.
What do you think that it means to be a leader of campers and staff?
I think communication, and being open to each member’s ideas, is fundamental in creating a great team. Each member will have different strengths. I think that it is important to highlight those strengths as much as possible, which will help give campers and staff alike the best experience at camp. Being a leader of campers means always giving them your heart and soul to help provide them with a fun and silly summer, while also making sure that their safety is first all of the time.
What have you learned being a Group Leader at Echo Lake, and how to you plan to use what you’ve learned this coming summer?
One thing that I learned very quickly last summer is not be shy, and to ask for help when needed. Being a Group Leader last summer, and also being new to camp, meant having lots of questions. Luckily, all of the staff at Echo Lake was more than willing to help me no matter what it was that I was questioning. This made me always feel like part of the team, and I hope that I can be helpful to the new staff this summer.
Last year at camp, I learned that as important as planning is, it’s equally important to be okay when things don’t quite go as planned. Camp is all about flexibility and adaptability. There are always last minute changes due to weather, etc. so your day might end up being quite different than your schedule read in the morning, and that’s okay. Some of the best days at camp are the ones you least expected!
What do you hope that your campers get out of this summer at Echo Lake?
No matter what age I will be working with this summer, I hope that, first and foremost, the campers will be able to look back with nothing but the most positive and happy memories from the summer. I hope that my campers are able to leave camp this summer with new friendships and stronger friendships than they came to camp with. I want to help provide them with a safe and welcoming environment so that they can feel comfortable in their own skin 100% of the time. I also hope that my campers leave with a sense of pride, knowing all they they’ve accomplished, all the new things that they’ve tried, and all the ways that they’ve grown over their summer at Camp Echo Lake.
Please share a fond memory or two about Camp Echo Lake:
Being new at camp last year, I had heard a lot about “Special Day,” and it sounded awesome. I didn’t realize just how awesome it was until I actually experienced it. Our group loved High School Musical, so we did an HSM-themed day. I think that my favorite part of that day was when the girls learned a choreographed dance routine using basketballs with one of the songs from the movie. They only had about an hour to learn the routine, and I was amazed by what they accomplished in such a short time. The dance was unbelievable by the end of the session, but more importantly, everyone had a blast learning and working together!