Getting to Know Rebecca (“Becca”) Zukowsky – Inter Girls Head Counselor
Becca hails from Armonk, NY, attends college at the University of Maryland and thinks of Warrensburg, NY as a home away from home where her formative years were spent. Because Camp Echo Lake is such an integral part of Becca’s life, she spends most of the year collecting green and gold items and building a list of potential songs to be used at her all-time favorite activity…Group Sing!
Becca’s 10th summer at Echo Lake will bring her full circle. A decade ago, she was a Lower Inter girl, and this summer, she will be the Head Counselor for the Inter Girls, a position that she has grown into through the years. Before becoming a Head Counselor, Becca worked as a Cabin Specialist, Group Leader and LIT Group Leader (a summer that she will never forget!).
How many summers have you spent at Camp Echo Lake, and what brought you here in the first place?
This will be my 10th summer at Echo Lake. My parents chose Echo Lake for me as a child because my babysitter, Amanda Bauer, was a camper here. She is now married to Echo Laker, Josh Stein!
What was your childhood camp experience like?
I spent all winter looking forward to camp as a child. As an only child, camp taught me how to live and work with others. I think I did a lot of my growing up at Echo Lake. The invaluable experiences that I have had at Echo Lake are ones that I could not have had in a home environment.
What do you believe makes Camp Echo Lake special for campers and staff?
Even as a staff member I feel like I become a better version of myself every summer. Echo Lake is a unique environment that promotes independence and personal growth for both campers and staff alike. Also, everything comes full circle as a former camper becoming a staff member. This progression makes it a very rewarding experience to be able to give back to the Echo Lake community as a counselor.
How do you spend the 10 months waiting for camp to start?
I spend the 10 months in the off season acquiring as many green and gold things as possible, just like an LIT awaiting Tribal break! I also keep a running list of songs that would make a winning Group Sing performance.
What are your hobbies?
My roommates and I just started a business called Fuzzy-Gram. It is an online business centered around fuzzy socks, so lately my hobbies include lots of socks and spending time with my seven roommates/sorority sisters. Our living room doesn’t look like most shared college houses, as it is covered in socks, boxes and shipping labels. We have also been putting the final touches a pitch that we hope to present on Shark Tank.
What are your favorite Echo Lake activities?
I LOVE GROUP SING! I also love Friday night services. It is so nice to have the whole camp together to regroup at the end of a busy week, and catch up with everyone. For organizational purposes, we sit by group for all other activities, but Friday night services are more relaxed, so we get to interact with everyone. I always look forward to the talent show each Friday after services because it is so entertaining and a lot of fun.
Please share a fond memory or two about Echo Lake:
Last summer I was an LIT Group Leader. The LITs had always been two groups and this was the first time that they were coming together as one. Before the summer, I knew that the two groups were apprehensive as to how the dynamics would play out. The LIT staff worked very hard to facilitate a smooth transition – which isn’t always easy with 55 sixteen-year olds.
In the middle of the summer we had a campfire and lit wish lanterns. Another LIT Group Leader and I were cleaning up after the wish lanterns and we turned around and saw all 55 of the LITs with their arms around each other watching the lanterns fly over the lake. It was a moment at camp I will never forget and signified that they were no longer two groups, but one.
I have a real appreciation for the LIT program because it goes so far beyond training to become a counselor in the future. It’s all about becoming a leader, and there is a great deal of responsibility that goes along with it.
The LITs learn the value of helping those less fortunate than them by performing community service with organizations like Habitat For Humanity. The time that they spend at Morry’s Camp gives them the opportunity to see where the fundraising dollars are being spent, and they get the chance to experience camp through the eyes of the campers that are chosen to attend.
As LITs, they are in charge of all the planning and organization of Tribals, which is a great responsibility and a tremendous honor.
It’s hard to put into words the feeling of pride that I had watching the growth of each LIT as the summer progressed. Being the LIT Group Leader is something that I will never forget.