We are thrilled to say that our Equinox event was a huge success! Our Heroes successfully drove away the Samodivi and spoiled the Lamia’s plans once again. Baba Marta has returned to her representation of Life and Spring is on its way.

This week, we wanted to celebrate the Heroes’ great success by continuing our Life After Camp series… This time with an interview with a previous Monster Camper…


Meet Madi Garland:
 
1. What have you been up to since “graduating” from being a camper? (College, work, passions, etc)
I’m about to graduate Wheelock College with a Math/Science for Teaching degree, with minors in Education and Writing. I’ve had pretty steady employment, and I’m currently working on programs involving STEM and Makerspaces in schools. 
 
2. How long were you a camper for? How would you say you changed as a person throughout that experience?
I was a monster camper for two summers (2012-2013). At first I was pretty headstrong and excitable, but as I continued through the program, I got better at working with others and took a leadership role.
 
3. How have you grown as a person since camp?
Since being a camper, I’ve started to become more organized, take school more seriously, and I’m more confident in myself. I’ve taken on creative projects and I’m less afraid to be myself and talk to new people than I ever was. Camp somehow reminds you that, even if school is rough, there are people out there that love and admire you. It really helped in tough times. 
 
4. Can you think of ways your experience as a Hero at camp equipped you with skills that helped you later in life?
Being at camp was an experience I can never forget. I prepped for doing seven mods in a row – and I wasn’t even there to participate in them. I learned how to organize people. I also learned how to work with kids of different abilities, which comes in handy as a teacher. 
 
5. What is your most memorable camp experience?
That’s a tough one! Probably during 2012, when we had camp outside. We all had the job of creating animal characters (these were the first of many, as I understand). We had about an hour, and the group worked together designing costumes and makeup and personalities. I was the deer. It was really collaborative, and that feeling of absolute cohesiveness is rare when you have a dozen teens who barely know each other. To this day, we still talk about those characters. I actually plan on getting a deer tattoo!
 
6. And finally, what advice or encouragement do you have for our current Heroes at camp, who might soon be aging out of our camper program?
Wow, I actually wrote an entire document on this once, but I’ll summarize. I think the most important advice I can give is to keep in mind what a unique experience you were a part of. You played a character (or many characters) who were courageous, honorable, compassionate. Every character you created or interacted with taught you something about yourself. Take time to reflect on those characters, and why you admire some and denounce others. Let those thoughts inspire you to continue developing as a person. I’m not the same as I was when I started as a Monster Camper, at the age of 16. Growing up isn’t the same as getting “too old”. So keep being inspired by the things you experienced at camp, keep striving towards your goals, and keep being a hero, even just for yourself. Most of all, just don’t let the magic of camp die out after you leave. Once a hero, always a hero.