As a staff member at Camp Jewell, my shirt says that I am a “professional role model”. This is a huge responsibility that I love to live up to every day. Being surrounded by other “professional role models” and truly enjoying the job I wake up to in the morning, it makes it easy to fulfill my duties here as the Ropes Coordinator. Now, as I think about my role here, I have discovered that I am more than just a professional role model, but I am a professional at many other things;


I am a professional high fiver.


I am a professional dancer.


I am a professional laugher.


I am a professional hiker.


I am a professional listener.


I am a professional at playing knock out on the basketball court.


I am a professional at reading maps.


I am a professional story teller.


I am a professional belayer.


I am a professional gaga ball player…


Or so I thought. I’ve been playing gaga ball for years now (and if you are unfamiliar with the game of gaga ball, I am sure your children will fill you in at the end of camp), and I have won many matches. I have also lost many matches, which, believe me, can hurt a little bit especially when it is an eight year old that gets you out. But I have learned a lot from those matches, I have polished my skills, been training in the pit all hours of the day. My confidence has never been higher and I was ready to reign this summer as the king of the gaga ball courts.


We are now four days into session one and I have yet to win my first match. The competition this year is impeccable, top notch, and might I say, a little intimidating. I considered yesterday faking a thumb injury to save myself the embarrassment of losing yet again. But I am a professional gaga ball player and it is in my contract to never back down from competition!

I’ve never seen such talent come through Camp Jewell before. I guess I wasn’t the only one training in the off season this past year.





Erik Phelan- Ropes Coordinator