Getting To Know Sam Wilkinson – Main Village Program Coordinator
Sam hails from Southport, England, and has recently earned a degree in Physical Education and School Sport at Edge Hill University near Liverpool. Now that he has graduated, Sam plans on teaching Physical Education and English. He will be starting a graduate teaching program in September at the elementary school level. If his dreams come true, one day, Sam will be teaching in America.
This coming summer will be Sam’s 4th at Camp Echo Lake. After spending two years as the Soccer Specialist, Sam has been elevated to the role of Main Village Program Coordinator. Although he loved every minute that he spent working on the soccer program, Sam was looking for a new challenge, so he is thrilled to be a part of the programming team. He is anxious to get started in his new role, where he will run lineups and evening activities, in addition to supporting the activity staff in their respective areas.
How many summers have you spent at Camp Echo Lake, and what brought you here in the first place?
This will by my 4th summer at Camp Echo Lake. Coming to work at an American summer camp had been something that I’d always wanted to do. Echo Lake found me through an agency in Europe. For my first two summers, I was employed as a Soccer Specialist.
What was your childhood camp experience like?
It is not common culture in the UK for children to attend sleepaway camp over the summer. My only camp experience was attending a non-residential soccer camp for 2-3 days at a time.
What do you believe makes Camp Echo Lake special for campers and staff?
Camp Echo Lake fosters an atmosphere that encourages both campers and staff to be exactly who they are. Because everyone is comfortable in their own skin, it feels like everyone is operating on a level playing field. There is no stress of “real life” or pressure to conform to peer groups. This culture allows the campers and staff to develop by venturing outside of their respective comfort zones to participate in activities that they may not have otherwise in a different environment. Life at Echo Lake is all about new experiences!
How do you spend the 10 months waiting for camp to start?
I recently graduated with a degree in Physical Education and School Sport from Edge Hill University in England. I’ll be starting a graduate teaching program at the elementary school level in September. Other than that, I play soccer on the weekends and also coach a junior team.
What are your hobbies?
Playing and coaching soccer. Going to music concerts and cycling. I also enjoy reading non-fiction books.
What are your favorite Echo Lake activities?
Soccer, Tennis and Swim are my favorite regular activities.
World Cup Days are some of my most favorite at camp. As the former Soccer Specialist, it’s hard to think of anything better than a full day of soccer! The passion, spirit and enthusiasm displayed by both the campers and staff is truly something to behold.
Special Days encapsulate everything that is great about the community that exists at Echo Lake. Each group gets the chance to work together on the activities that they enjoy the most. And to top it off, you get Chipwiches!
Please share a fond memory or two about Camp Echo Lake:
I really love the Fourth of July fireworks that take place at the lake each year. Of course, that is a planned event, but sometimes the most special memories happen when you least expect it. I remember one day, in particular, where we had torrential rain which caused all activities to be cancelled. Most of the Main Village staff and campers ended up running, jumping and singing in the rain as we spent the day mud sliding. That moment showed me that camp can always be fun even in less-than-ideal conditions.
Another favorite memory of mine was the Pike Trek Trip. There’s nothing like paddling, hiking and spending the night camping in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. Being away from camp, and seeing the campers demonstrate the same spirit, teamwork and togetherness that that do at camp was very special to me.