The AgaNews
March 2021
Snow covered Mason Hall
Dear Camp Agawam Parents and Campers,

Happy March from chilly Maine and from Camp Agawam. As “the Captain” likes to remind me, there are only 56 days until we turn the water on at camp. Before we know it, the lake will be free of ice, the snow will be melted and we will be welcoming staff to camp for training. In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy this version of the Aganews.

An obvious theme to all of our communication this winter has revolved around both careful planning relating to the summer coupled with much uncertainty about how things will actually look. I will address some of those questions, but one of the things about which we are certain is that we will have a terrific staff this summer. A major theme of this Aganews is an introduction of some of our key summer leaders and it is my hope that reading their bios and seeing their faces will get you both excited and reassured about summer 2021!

Best Regards!

"Chief" Erik Calhoun
Upcoming Zoom Meetings
We have two scheduled Zoom opportunities in the month of March. The first will be at 7:30 pm (EST) on Thursday, March 11. This meeting will be open to our entire community and with the purpose of informing alumni and interested parties about what is happening with Camp Agawam. This information session is intended to be broad in scope and will include information about our preparations for the summer as well as financial information and board initiatives. You are welcome and encouraged to join, however I will note that some of the information will be repetitive and has been covered in other parent communications. Click here to register.

On Wednesday, March 17th at 7:30 pm (EST) we will host a Zoom Town Hall specifically aimed at our 2021 senior campers – 15 and 16-year-olds. We will address how the summer may look and feel for those campers. We will lay out some of our plans and will collect feedback from campers and parents. This session is open to everyone, but strongly encouraged for senior campers and parents of senior campers. Click here to join the meeting.
As of today – March 5, 2021 we are at capacity for enrollment. This is very exciting news. Up until last summer we have been full with a wait-list for a number of consecutive summers, but certainly never this early. It is important to note that if you have not completed and application for summer 2021 but plan to attend or are considering attending, it is essential that you get in touch with me: chief@campagawam.orgWe have some flexibility, but due to COVID protocols we need to be very careful in our management of camper numbers.
Work continues on the extension of the Mason Hall deck
Update on Summer Planning

The leadership team has spent much time in Zoom meetings, on webinars and collecting information in general. In fact, next week will be the annual (virtual) New England ACA (American Camp Association) conference. I am confident that we will come away with a lot of information. In the meantime, not a lot has changed in terms of our preparation since the last Aganews. We were very hopeful that we would have guidelines for overnight summer camps from the State of Maine by now, but as of today the guidelines have not been updated since June 2020. The updated guidelines will inform much of how we run camp this summer and at this point we are simply in a waiting game.

There are, however, a few things that we can be certain about. First, summer camps in Maine fully plan to run programs this summer. Second, it is clear that essential to a successful summer will be to have our staff and campers arrive at Agawam with minimal exposure to COVID-19. What this will look like specifically remains to be seen, but you can expect that we will require a negative PCR test something in the range of five days before camp. It is also highly likely that we will require that in the ten days before camp campers have minimum exposure to potential COVID-19 and avoid functions like weddings, graduations, funerals, sports tournaments and large gatherings in general. Once again, much more to come on this in the spring.
A view of Mason Hall from frozen Crescent Lake
Looking from the basketball court towards the Waterfront
Meet Some of Seasonal Agawam Key Leaders

As we look towards an historic summer at Agawam, we feel so grateful that our staff is full of dedicated and caring role models who are committed to maintaining the ideals and traditions of Camp Agawam. This is especially true given that this might be a different summer than anyone has experienced before. Each summer, we welcome around 50 activity and cabin counselors who have demonstrated leadership, humility, empathy, kindness, and joy, either at Agawam or in their communities. They share a commitment to being child-centered and will practice critical thinking, conflict resolution, group process, teaching craft, and communication as they join our impressive staff team.
We have a terrific start on our hiring, and over the next month, we will be looking to complete filling out our ranks. While we rely heavily on former campers and returning staff, If anyone in the Agawam community knows someone 18+ who matches the descriptions in the paragraph above, we encourage you to contact “Cruiser” Wright, our head counselor who leads our hiring process – As you will see below, our key leaders come from all walks of life, and we are so appreciative to have them return to spend multiple summers with us! 

If you follow @campagawam on Instagram or Facebook, you might have seen our staff introduction stories, which we will continue to share as we add staff members for the 2021 season. We know that camp families place so much faith in these young men and women. We look forward to continuing to earn your trust! Since parent time may be limited on camp property this summer, our leadership team continues to explore creative ways to help families get to know our staff. We want to start by introducing some of our counselor leaders this summer during this version of the pre-season Aganews.

In Alphabetical order:
“Swampy” Brendan Barnard – Is a 2nd generation counselor and former camper. He returns this summer as Lower Campus Unit Head and Head of Sailing. "Swampy" is graduating from Boston College this spring and is exploring options in either outdoor/experiential or classroom education in the fall. “Swampy” is a talented singer and actor, and has enjoyed being part of a comedy improv troupe on campus at BC. He has the unique quality of being a fantastic mild-mannered listener and also raucously funny, at times.
“Inspector” Tom Colesby – Hailing from England, “Inspector” is slated to serve as Unit Head of our oldest campers. Colesby is finishing up his teaching degree at Liverpool Hope University with the hopes of coaching Soccer -er- Football. "Inspector" is a fantastic example of the value of the J-1 cultural exchange program that Agawam benefits from every summer. He has most certainly given to us more culture than he has received; after several years visiting the U.S. he still can’t figure out why we don’t put baked beans on our breakfast plates and drive on the wrong side of the road. 
Emma Longcope – Is still awaiting her title – she was introduced to Agawam by “Bos’n” Murray, who, together with their dog Hatcher are happy to be back in Maine living on Crescent Lake this summer. Emma is originally from Falmouth, ME, and was a counselor at Camp Wohelo as a teenager. She has also been a mentor/educator at the Catamount Center in Colorado and completed an AmericCorps fellowship at Teton Science School in Wyoming. While at camp, she will continue working part-time doing marketing for the No Man’s Land Film Festival, and will help Agawam with photography and in-season communications strategy and implementation to help parents stay connected with camp.
“Bos’n” Sam Murray – One of many Murrays who have made an impact at Agawam, “Bos’n” will be returning to Agawam as the Program Director this summer after several summers away. Since 2016, has been teaching at the Aspen Academy in Littleton, CO, and is completing a Masters’ Degree from Utah State University in Natural Resource Management this spring. He took a hiatus from teaching this school year to finish Grad school remotely while enjoying the “VanLife” and rock climbing all around the country with Emma. He was recently hired to teach at The White Mountain School in New Hampshire in the fall of 2021.
“Dusty” Zach McEwan – “Dusty” can do just about anything. He is a former co-trip director, but is equally at home on the waterfront, in the woodshop, or in the music room. After working with children both in and out of schools for years, in 2020, “Dusty” landed his first full-time teaching position inspiring young musicians at Medway Middle School in Medway, Maine,. He loves hiking, yoga, dancing, music, and remains very close to his family who also live in the beautiful greater Katahdin/Baxter State Park area where he grew up. 
“Corp” Jacob Morse – “Corp” Morse is leading our trips program this summer after serving as assistant trip director in 2019. An avid hunter and fisherman from Lovell, a town in the Western Mountains of Maine, “Corp” brings a unique perspective to share with the boys as they explore the woods and waters of his native state. During the winter, “Corp” works in foodservice at Bates College, so the boys are sure to eat well on trips, too! He is actively working with the Leadership Team this winter to consider how we can ensure that our tripping program maintains its core goals while maintaining our “bubble” for COVID isolation. 
“Dodger” Luke Osselaer – “Dodger” is happy to be back exclusively in the classroom after covering as interim Principal at St. John Berchmans School in Chicago. Impressively, he led the school to reopening in the midst of the pandemic while simultaneously teaching social studies and science in-person and helping prepare for virtual learning for students who were staying home. He recently began graduate school at DePaul University with the goal of receiving his M. Ed in Educational Leadership. "Dodger" leans on this experience and more to lead the Sr. Club, Agawam’s counselor-in-training program. He has become a beloved mentor to many aspiring staff members. 
“Swampy” Brad Przedpelski – After many years of Agawam experience as a camper and staff member, “Swampy” participated in the intensive Waterfront Leadership School in the summer of 2019 and continued to grow into a seasoned leader while ensuring a safe and happy waterfront. After being disappointed by the cancelled 2020 season, “Swampy” is eager to build on his leadership in 2021. “Swampy” recently moved to Portland, Maine. He is an accomplished musician who sings and can play most any instrument, but his true passion is writing and recording songs, and engaging in the creative process. 
“Corp” Emily Waller – “Corp” is a gifted woodshop counselor who seems to have eyes in the back of her head. While ensuring that no-one loses a finger, she inspires creativity, responsibility, and thoughtfulness in wood-working. “Corp” is also the most highly trained and experienced member of our Challenge staff. Before the pandemic, she worked as a professional stagehand, doing rigging, set-building, and support for all types of performances. She hopes to return to that work after live performances return, but in the meantime, has been managing the cold Minnesota winter doing residential construction. “Corp” is multi-talented, and studied Music Education at University of Southern Maine. 

Meet the 2021 Healthcare Staff
With COVID-19 a key factor in our planning and the reality of the 2021 summer, hiring a strong healthcare staff is a priority. Even before COVID, we had made the decision to hire three RNs for the 2020 season. Knowing that there are more complications and considerations going into this summer, we decided that having a team of four nurses would be prudent. All four RNs are “returning” nurses. Three were hired for the summer of 2020 and remained committed to Agawam this summer and the fourth worked at Agawam for the 2018 season.
Tara and Scott Fitzgerald are both RNs and currently call Texas home where Scott is doing contract nursing. Both were hired to work at Agawam in 2020, and last summer Tara and Scott worked as RNs for Camp CenterStage in Livermore Falls, Maine. Tara has experience as a charge nurse, a family services coordinator, and a CNA manager. She also has been a camp nurse at Boy Scout camps as well as a residential treatment center for adolescents and teens. Scott has experience as a charge nurse, admissions nurse, and a staff nurse. Tara and Scott recently repurposed a van themselves so that they could really put the “travel” in travel nursing. Tara and Scott enjoy spending time with their 3 boys and the whole family enjoys spending time camping, rafting, biking and skiing in Colorado. Scott is a musician who played the bass professionally before earning his RN 30 years ago. 
Hannah Lawrence will be rejoining us after 2 years away and we are very happy to welcome her back. Hannah will be joined by her partner “Coach” Wade Sturges who is a soccer coach, headed up the Agawam soccer program in 2018, and will be joining our soccer staff and possibly assisting “Capt” Estes. Hannah’s son Johnny will also be returning to Agawam for his 2nd summer. Hannah is currently working as a contract nurse and her present assignment is in Washington State. Hannah, Wade and Johnny love being outdoors and go hiking any chance they get.
Jessica McGuire lives in Florida with her 2 boys who will also be Agawam campers. Jessica and her boys were also hired/registered for Agawam 2020. Before going into nursing, Jessica worked in commercial insurance and ecology research. Her RN experience includes John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and home health nursing.
Final Thoughts

I hope that this version of the Aganews and the information about our great 2021 staff will get you excited about the summer. I know that it does for me! It is obvious to me that our sons need Agawam more than ever this summer and we are very enthusiastic about what is to come. If you have any questions or simple want to check in, I encourage you to call (207-627-4780) or e-mail – I would love to hear from you.