Rocking the “off-season” with Eric

Unit Leader and four-year Manitou veteran, Eric Jonsson, splits time during the “off-season” between Bangalore, India and Reykjavik, Iceland.

Wow. It feels like I just left camp the other day. Hard to believe there’s just another 150 days or so, until Summer 2020 starts!

I first came to Manitou in 2017. A few of my friends had been coming to camp in the years prior, and they would tell me many stories about camp life, College League, & Color War. It seemed almost impossible to believe and I knew I had to experience it for myself. 

My first two summers were spent as a cabin counselor, teaching music and working with the band. In 2019 I got the opportunity to lead a division of camp for the first time as Unit Leader for the Low Intermediates (11 Year olds). Like anything else in life it was difficult initially, but after getting into the groove of things, I had the most challenging and fulfilling summer of my life. 

My birthplace and current residence is in Bangalore, India. During the “off season,” I work as a musician performing at various corporate events, weddings, etc. Being a musician has many benefits, such as: allowing me to travel, exposing me to many different cultures and personalities, improving my interpersonal skills, and giving me the opportunity to do what I love.

When I’m not in Bangalore, chances are you will find me in Reykjavik, Iceland which is where my parents and most of my 10 siblings now live. This is usually my first stop after I leave camp on my way back home. I usually stay for month or so, occupying myself with some part-time work with my brother-in-law on various home repair and construction jobs, before heading back to India right in time to bring some Christmas cheer during the holiday season.

For anybody considering working for a summer as a camp counselor, I can honestly say that it will be one of the most amazing experiences of your life. Along with the inexplicable energy & fun, camp will teach you new levels of patience, hard work, and dedication. If I could give newcomers one piece of advice, it would be “Always Say Yes!”. You might find that you could unlock new potential within yourself by trying something new, difficult though it may seem. 

I will be counting down the days until I return to what has become one of my most memorable places on earth. There really is no place like home. 


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