In third grade, Mom and Dad sent me to Camp Wi-ta-Wentin in Lake Charles, Louisiana; my parents were geniuses. My love affair with camping began at age 9, and, now into my 50’s, the affair is still torrent. In 1982, I decided to leave Wi-ta-Wentin after 4 years as a camper, 2 years as a Counselor in Training (C.I.T.), and 2 years as a counselor, to look for a different camp. Through a process of fateful steps, I found Camp Wa-Klo in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Miss Kloberg, the founder/owner/director of Wa-Klo, hired me as a Swimming Instructor. Although I loved teaching swimming and lifeguarding, I couldn’t wait for skit presentations with my cabin, the annual Miss Wa-Klo pageant, tribe games where I could lead cheers, or any other venue to release my inner “ham.” Camp gave me a creative outlet that I so desperately desired and needed as a young woman, for I was beginning to discover my theatrical voice, and I needed a place in which I could express it. Camp truly pushed me to pursue my dreams in the Theatre Arts, and I focused my entire academic career in that direction. I continued to spend my summers at Wa-Klo from 1982 until I was offered a full-time position there.
In 2007, Dr. Virginia Maurer, the current director/owner, lured me from Louisiana to the deep woods of New Hampshire by offering me the assistant director position at Wa-Klo. I left my beloved job as a Theatre Teacher in the New Orleans area and accepted a full-time position as Assistant Director at Camp Wa-Klo in order to give back what was given to me to achieve my life dreams. Creating the wings of a child early on is very beneficial; when the child is ready to fly, she/he can do just that—fly. The lessons learned at a summer camp certainly can shape the future of a child.
A huge cast of people, offering insight, desire, and knowledge, has converged in my life to make me who I am and to help me form the words and thoughts found in this blog. The ensemble consisted of teachers that nurtured my creativity and offered challenges that made me work hard to achieve success, camp directors who allowed me to spread my wings and push the creative boundaries and family and friends who have applauded my efforts along the way.
Pass the spark on… Susan Chenet