Hi Everyone! My name is Dan Deren and I was at Manitou for 10 summers from 2007 to 2016. I spent four summers as a camper and six summers as a staff member and each summer was better than the last!
I am from Boston and that is where I am currently working as a consultant for financial services. I truly enjoy my job and I would not have it if it was not for camp! Not only did I learn intangible skills from camp but I also had wonderful people around me that always rooted for me to succeed and helped me get to where I am today.
I would like to congratulate all the returning and new staff that will be working at camp this summer! I think spending a summer at Manitou is one of the best decisions anyone can make and I am genuinely jealous of you all. I’ve been around the flagpole a few times and I have a few helpful tips and tricks that you can follow to ensure that you have a fantastic summer.
- Challenge yourself to meet all campers and staff. Try to learn everyone’s name. It’s really hard but no one should be a stranger to you at camp!
- Embrace the camp ecosystem and get involved. Camp has so many opportunities for all types of people.
- If you have an idea, share it! The leaders of camp are always listening and looking for fun new activities and games.
- Take advantage of your downtime! The summer will be over before you know it so try to make every day count.
- The more active you are with your campers and in the camp community, the better your summer will be. You have a great opportunity to have an unforgettable summer and by the end of it you will be calling camp your second home.
Manitou holds a special place in my heart. I have been extremely fortunate to have had the experiences I had at camp. Memories from college league, color war, and everyday camp activities are always on my mind and making me wish I was down at the waterfront watching one of the many beautiful sunsets reflecting on how lucky I am to be part of Manitou. I am sure that all of you are excited to get to camp and for good reason! Get ready because you are about to have a summer like you have never experienced before.
P.S. HOOK EM — FUEL THE FIRE
I came to Manitou as a 9-year-old camper in 2003. I was an 8-year camper and became a 4-year counselor as well. In 2014 I was the dean of the James Madison Dukes. The past two years I was the Director of Basketball Operations for the Boston University Women’s basketball team. Currently, I am looking for a job in collegiate basketball.
- Be open to trying any and everything
- Being out of your comfort zone makes the whole experience that much better
- Lean on veteran counselors and do not be afraid to ask questions, everyone was in your position before
- Once the campers get off the bus it all goes by very quickly, try to make a memory each day
- Being a counselor was the best experience I have had in my life and hope you all enjoy your summers!