Katelyn first joined the Ranch Community as a camper in 2007. She’s spent almost every summer at camp since then. We had a chance to sit down with her and learn more aout what makes her so special.
What was your first Ranch Camp experience?
The summer after 4th grade my mom sent me to Ranch Camp for the first time. Having never been away from home for more than a night, I was terrified. But the moment I stepped out of the car onto the dirt parking lot at the camp office, I instantly knew that this was a place where I would become the best version of myself. Many years later, I get that same feeling every time I arrive at camp; only now I’m part of the team creating an inclusive environment enabling campers to create, learn, and thrive. I understand, firsthand, the importance of providing children with opportunities to reach their fullest potential, and the consequences if such opportunities are lost.
One of my camp mentors once told me that this is the most important work in the world and I wholehearted believe that it is.
What is one part of your new role that you are most excited about?
I’ve been a staff member at Ranch Camp for the past 5 years and so I’ve seen and been a part of a lot of changes, but I’m most excited for the new mental health initiatives that we are working to develop and implement.
Why did you choose to work in the non-profit world, and more specifically in the Jewish Community sector?
When I was a camper at Ranch Camp the counselors and other staff members went above and beyond to create an environment where I could succeed and learn in a way that I’d never experienced before. Ranch Camp also gave me the opportunity to connect to Judaism in a way that felt accessible and meaningful. As a young person, having an environment like camp is nothing short of life changing. I choose to work in the Jewish non-profit world to continue creating camp magic for campers like me.
How do you choose to build your own community?
I build my own community from love.
What is one fun fact about you that most people don’t know?
I’m a huge musical theatre nerd and I will talk your ear off about it if given the opportunity. I also sometimes sing show tunes while I work.
Which literary character are you most like?
Well, I took a Buzzfeed quiz that said I’m most like Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games, but I don’t think I would have survived, so maybe Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web. I admire how kind and loyal of a friend she is to Wilbur.
Which 3 words would those closest to you use to describe you?
Persistent, Caring, Detail-Oriented
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I would go back to Greece in a heartbeat. I had the opportunity to study in Athens and I fell in love with the city. I wouldn’t mind the chance to go island hopping again either!