April 3, 2012

Staff Spotlight: John Bourgeois

The Staff Spotlight Series is delighted to bring you:
John Bourgeois!
John is seen here as he and some campers get gussied up for the Dork Dance. Looking good everyone!

Orkila: Hi John, thanks again for taking some time to do this. Shall we just jump into it? So what units were you in as a camper, what have you done as a staff member? What will you be doing this year at camp, too?

JB: Of course I am happy to speak with you anytime, Ork. By going to camp this next summer, it will be my 7th year at Camp Orkila. I am excited to be the 'Earth and the Heavens,' in regard to the poem that is recited at the closing campfire. As a camper, I only had the extreme pleasure of doing skate camp, where I mingled, some, with the Grey Wolves. I never actually got to do full blown traditional camp. I then was a LDI, a CIT, and also an OSI. Now I have been on the staff as a counselor for 2 years. And this summer I was informed that I would be a counselor again. I don't know if I'm quite ready to give up counseling quite yet.

Orkila: What have you been up to this year? Where are you right now!?

JB: This past year, I have been spending my time at Oregon State University, for my sophomore terms in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Playing a lot of pick basketball as well as working at a Burrito restaurant on campus.
At this very moment, I am sitting on the couch at my friend's house, in my home town of Portland, OR. I am house-sitting for him, as well as pet-sitting. I'm currently on Spring Break, so I have been trying to get as much sleep as possible.

Orkila: What’s your favorite part of camp? And what keeps you coming back?

JB: My favorite part about camp is the inside jokes you make with the campers as well as your fellow staff. The campers, in my opinion, love these connections that you make with them. They will experience something that maybe 9 other kids get to experience, and that makes them feel really special. Something that they can talk the ears off of their parents on the ride home. Maybe a wacky story that a camper tells me or spur-of-the-moment song or dance that breaks out!
What definitely brings me back is campers recognizing me. When I was younger, I loved seeing the counselors return, a face I knew. So when I'm walking around on changeover day and I hear, "JOHHNN!!!!" and see a camper from 2 years ago that I had in my cabin beaming with joy to see me, it's really something else. It shows that I did have an impact, and I am a reason for them coming back. So, they are a reason I come back.

Orkila: I really do wish that we could talk forever John, but to close, in your own words, why can’t you ride "my little red wagon?"

JB: Well there have always been a variety of reasons why I am never really able to ride your little red wagon, ranging from a smashed differential to an improperly operating radiator. But it always seems to boil down to having the front wheel's broken and the axle dragging.

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