My first memory of Southwoods was parents day 2004 when my family trekked up to the Adironacks to pick up my brother who was a Lower Inter Boy that summer. I remember receiving letters from him all summer long saying how much fun he was having and I couldn’t wait to see the camp and all it had to offer. We got to camp and I remember all he wanted to do was show us the archery area. My family ended up staying in the archery area for two hours because I was the one who didn’t want to leave. As we left camp that day I knew I wanted to become a Southwoods camper.

In 2005 I started as an Upper Junior Girl and I never realized how my time at camp would affect me in life. As an Upper Senior I lead my Mohawk tribe to victory and I remember that was the first time I had ever been truly responsible for something in my life. I was placed on spirit committee because everyone said, “oh, Rachel is loud.” But no one truly understands that being a chieftain is the most important thing to the Upper Seniors until they actually are one. Being a chieftain not only gave me responsibility but also independence and confidence that I never knew I had.

After being a Super Senior I realized this was my last time being at Southwoods. I walked down the bunk line on parents day sobbing because I truly thought that was going to be my last time at camp. Then Scott mentioned to my age group an idea of a Leaders in Training (LIT) program. I never thought it would actually happen until I got the greatest email that September. I decided why not sign up and be a camper one more summer! It wasn’t until I got to camp that I realized how much of a growing experience that summer would be. Southwoods always gave me a source of independence and responsibility, but it wasn’t until I became an LIT that I fully got the leadership experience I wanted.

When we arrived the campers were so excited, and the counselors were looking forward to having another helping hand. I jumped right into a Lower Inter Girl cabin with 12 girls. It was the best summer ever; I got to play like a kid again but I was still present as a big sister figure. We did a lot of leadership workshops and truly figured out what it means to be a leader. During intersession, we went to Disney and participated in the Youth Education Series (YES!) Program. I thought we were just going to goof around all day, but what I found was that we learned leadership skills and techniques that I still find myself using today.

Being an LIT was probably the most empowering experience I could have had in high school, and then coming back as a counselor has been the most rewarding experience to date. Going back to camp each summer, I see old faces all excited to see me and new faces anxiously waiting to understand who this crazy counselor in a tutu and fanny packs is.

As a counselor I truly found my inner kid. I found what it means to not only be a friend, a big sister, a pseudo-parent or a camp counselor, but what it means to be taking care of a parent’s most precious gift. I realized that being patient is all a kid needs and that a smile can go a long way.

I never imagined becoming a counselor at Southwoods, let alone becoming a Group Leader this upcoming summer. I can honestly say I owe who I am today to Scott and Andrea, my counselors, my co-counselors and my campers. I don’t know where I would be today if it wasn’t for Southwoods, but I know there is no other place I’ve wanted to spend my last 10 summers and hopefully more to come.

-Written by Rachel Golden, Southwoods Group Leader



Birthdays This Month!
Gabriel Keller 7/31
Ledi Qiu 7/31
Zoe Winston 8/1
Sophia Lotito 8/2

Caleigh Barber 8/6

Neal Gurland 8/7
Andrew Pleeter 8/7
Henry Meyer 8/9
Sadie Gutterman 8/10
Amelia Bradbury 8/13
Mason Levitsky 8/14
Cheyenna Bardsley 8/16
Laura Cardillo 8/16
Elias Wainberg 8/17
Ryan Khalil 8/17
Alberto Santos 8/20
Zachary Gibbs 8/22
Peter Pappas 8/23
Melody Yang 8/25
Ryan Wang 8/26
Zoe Rubin 8/26
Melanie Barest 8/26
Josh Schildkraut 8/28
Deniz Akdeniz 8/28
Arthur Oroujev 8/29
Evan Kurnev 8/29
Sophie Card 8/30
Sarah Waring 8/30
Ainsley Simmons 8/30
Lily Ives 9/3
Sophie Bradbury 9/4
Danica Parent 9/5
Blake Migden 9/7
Eli Goldstein 9/8
Jacob Burnett 9/8
Hannah Satty 9/9
Robbie Hays 9/9
Jake Gershberg 9/9
Selin Reyna 9/11
Alara Reyna 9/11
Zachary Rubin 9/12
Jesse Goldberg 9/14
Luke Friedman 9/15
Antonia De Lorenzo 9/16
Rachel Sacks 9/20
Emma Guarini 9/21
Kira Sehgal 9/21
Nay Kawwah Blatt 9/22
Avery Max 9/22
Aaron Eben 9/24
Eli Winikoff 9/24
Jason Wu 9/25
Yixiu Li 9/26
Oliver Morrison 9/27
Gus Morrison 9/27
Dusya Petrova 9/27
Alexa Citron 9/27
Courtney Sirkin 9/27
Valerie Schellenbach 9/28
Sarah Skoler 9/28
Charlotte Helmig 10/1
Nora Rotman 10/2
Chrisbaha Du 10/3
Max Goldstein 10/4
Elaine Yang 10/4
Willa Kuhn 10/6
Justin Herrera 10/8
James Ernst 10/8
Jack Zawadzki 10/10
Wiley Miller 10/12
Marlon Edlin 10/13
Ethan Golden 10/15
Joshua Miller 10/17
Samuel Rothstein 10/17
Christopher Pinto 10/17
Emily Moelis 10/19
Mary McClay 10/21
NJ Langman 10/22
Cindy Xiao 10/22
Alison Passarella 10/25
Alyson Barsky 10/25
Maxine Moses 10/26
Andrew Strott 10/26
Bill Xu 10/26
Maximillan Liste 10/27
Rowan Simmons 10/28
Daphne Ballas 10/29
Jake Fawcett 10/29
Ben Rothstein 10/30
Emma Gershberg 10/31
Anmol Acharya 10/31