You Can Get a Great Summer Job….

By Jason Daily, Brookwoods alumnus

Unit Directors, Jason is far left.

In 2003, I pulled down Camp Brookwoods Road after driving 790 miles from Columbus, Ohio. I was in search of a completely different summer from the typical internships, work-study, etc. During my 13-hour drive, I did a lot of daydreaming about what the summer ahead would be like. I arrived, not knowing a soul, yet excited for the experience awaiting me.

June through August was a brief period of time that drastically changed the trajectory of my entire life, including my relationship with God. I’m not exaggerating this—I’ve heard many fellow camp alumni say something similar. I’m continuing to find that the impact is exponential.

First, I gained lifelong friends. When I arrived, I didn’t know a soul. Fourteen short, fun-filled, intense weeks later, I left with awesome memories, best friends for life and a huge network of brothers and sisters scattered around the world. I experienced the joy of being a part of a Christian community in a new way. My experience this first summer is one reason why my wife and I continue to seek this kind of deep community in our local church.

I appreciate now just how much of my time at Brookwoods was an investment in my future. It was one of the most valuable leadership development experiences of my life. There are so many parallels to the skills I needed as a counselor, that help me thrive in my job today as an executive coach. For example, planning leadership development sessions for high-performing teams in a corporate setting isn’t much different from planning cabin/unit nights and Bible studies. Facilitating and leading groups is essential to a great cabin dynamic. These skills are fundamental to thriving in the professional world as well.

I also coach many leaders who are searching for their purpose, or are trying to better understand the effects of their behaviors in relationships. Bunking up with a group of twelve 13-year olds in the Otter Cabin could be a case study on emotional intelligence and active listening!

Brookwoods friends in Colorado. Jason is 2nd from the right.

In the 16 years since my first summer, I’ve only been back to camp a few times…but camp has never left me. Instead, I’ve traveled to visit the friends I made that summer. Camp truly knows no boundaries. It exists in the weekly phone calls and texts that I have with my best buds (five of them were groomsmen in my wedding) and the annual get-togethers despite the 2,000 miles that separate us.

However long the drive or flight might be for you, I promise you’ll be glad you drove down that bumpy road through the gates of Brookwoods and Deer Run or MRO’s 3-mile driveway. If you need any more convincing, you can ask anyone about Mission Impossible, Hawk Parties, trips to the White Mountains, sleeping under the stars, swamping canoes; this list goes on and on and on. Just make sure to turn off your cell phone, because you can’t miss a minute of the experience that awaits you!

Click here for a job application to join the adventure!

Jason Daily is an executive coach and leadership development consultant. He served as a counselor in the Otter Cabin in 2003, Unit Director in 2004 and 2006, and served on the conference staff in 2006. Jason lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife Shannon and daughter Josephine.  jndaily@gmail.com