Tomahawk Staffer 2000-2002
Andrea Hogg, formerly Elfstrom, began her camp staff experience as a commissioner in White Pine in 2000. Andrea was a phenomenal staff member, great with the Scouts, and somehow managed to keep the Scoutmaster’s happy even when the muck truck ran late. I recently had the opportunity ask Andrea a few questions about her experience as Tomahawk staff member.
What were some of the positions you held on camp
staff? I was a commissioner, head commissioner (which meant I did more work for the same salary), and program director at Cub Scout camp one season.
What stands out as some of your most memorable experiences
on staff? Hmmm, some favorite memories… my first official day of staff training…teaching Brownsea…the White Pine Polar Bear Club (I must have gone to 20 Polar Bear swims that year)…making it into the minute club (I successfully tied 12 knots in under 1 minute to get into the exclusive club).
It was great meeting new people who eventually became some of my closest friends. I watched them passionately inspire and teach kids lessons that would last a lifetime. I also enjoyed watching the young staff members and grow to mature senior camp staff & even camp directors.
I really enjoyed some of the times when you just got to hang out with some of the staff and have fun with getting to ride on “the boat”…lunch at China Buffet on days off…Mr. DJays (ha, ha!)…sleeping in a tent all summer & waking up everyday to the beautiful surroundings (trees, the lake, deer) …SAILING… building a camp staff that was really unified.
What was it like being brand new to camp staff and the concept of the Boy Scouts organization? I was very apprehensive about what I was getting in to, especially after spending a week at Camp Phillips for camp school with some “good ole boys.” However, once I met the White Pine staff members and got to hang out with everyone I knew I had made the right decision.
As a camp counselor what aspects of the job did you
enjoy most? I loved teaching the first year Scouts. They were new to the program just like me and they were so excited to be at camp. I took advantage of the freedom of my job and went down to the beach during sailing merit badge just so I could ride along with the sailing instructor & enjoy the sun/water.
I also loved participating in some of the camp’s extra activities like Polar Bear. A few of us from White Pine bought neon green parkas and started a Polar Bear Club;
we made it to every camps’ Polar Bear at least once (I think a few of the others made it to more than I did…I may have slept in for a couple of the times!)
The 4th of July parades were also a blast. We always came up with a cool theme and involved every one of the White Pine staff. I was really proud of the unity our staff
What did you learn as a staff member? Being on camp staff taught me important lessons: how to be a team player, that girls can work at Boy Scout camp, friends come in all ages, life is good (even when you are working 12 hour days with little sleep and 1 day off per week, haha!). The Boy Scout program is an awesome program where boys mature, learn life skills, and have fun. I also learned some practical camping skills like how to tie knots, build a fire, emergency preparedness, and first aid.
Do you maintain a connection to the camp and staff?
I currently have friends that work at TSR and I try to make it up there once a summer. It is truly one of my favorite places in the world! Unfortunately, I don’t see all of my camp friends or stay in touch the way I’d like, but it is awesome how it’s just like old times when we get together.
What’s on the horizon for you now? I just started my fourth year teaching Spanish I, II & III at Monticello High School and I am one of the assistant girl’s basketball coaches. I am also taking masters courses at the U of M to update my teaching license from 7-12 to K-12. I will be getting a Masters in Second Languages and Cultures (hopefully by summer 2008.) Needless to say, I feel like I rarely have a free minute!
I spent some of the best summers of my life at Tomahawk and will always treasure my time & experiences there!