Skip to content

Preparing For Camp Loyaltown’s Opening Day

Unit Head Cesar Mendoza Diazleal uplifts counselors during lunch
Unit Head Cesar Mendoza Diazleal uplifts counselors during lunch.

Counselors build friendships as they prepare for camper arrivals

While the campers have yet to arrive, Camp Loyaltown, located in the scenic Catskill Mountains of Hunter, New York, is already vibrant and filled with laughter and joy.

A week ahead of Session 1, Day 1, counselors were looking forward to an amazing summer season ahead of them. Camp Loyaltown Counselors are skilled students, graduates, and kind-hearted people from all around the world.

Counselors come to camp on a J-1 Visa, meant for people to participate in work-study visitor programs. At camp, counselors build strong bonds with campers, learn skills that will serve them in their careers, meet new friends from different cultural backgrounds, and experience life in the United States.

Unit Head of Programming Nyle Mohan and Unit Head Dirang Stephens Mataboge pose in front of the pool.
Unit Head of Programming Nyle Mohan and Unit Head Dirang Stephens Mataboge check out the pool.

To prepare for the start of the camp season, counselors work in groups around camp doing yard work to keep the property safe and pristine, attending training sessions, and learning about the various roles they will be serving throughout the summer.

Aside from work, counselors have many opportunities to connect with fellow counselors, participate in fun activities during events like Spirit Night, and, of course, time to relax.

Savita Sharma, the Director of Family Support Services, called this year’s group of counselors, many of whom are returning from serving previous years, “amazing.”

“They are all integrating very well together,” Savita said.

Among the leaders are Unit Heads Dirang Stephens Mataboge from South Africa and Cesar Mendoza Diazleal from Mexico.

Dirang has worked at the camp for eight summers. He said the reason he keeps returning is because of the campers. Seeing them smile, Dirang said, warms his heart.

Camp Loyaltown Counselors resting on Adirondack chairs.
Counselors spend some free time in the afternoon resting on Adirondack chairs.

“I think we’re going to have an amazing summer,” Dirang said. “The counselors work as a group and have shown leadership since they arrived here.”

Cesar, who has been serving the camp for three summers, said he also keeps returning for the campers.

“We support and help the campers with the activities,” Cesar said. “Besides that, we meet people from different countries. Camp is about teamwork. We need to work together to have the best summer.”

Camp Loyaltown counselors get to know each other around a picnic table
Counselors from all around the world enjoy getting to know each other.

Every summer at camp is always filled with new experiences and opportunities to learn new skills and discover new potential for campers and counselors alike. This summer, 2024, is the first year since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that will return to the s pre-COVID capacity.

“We opened up more cabins than we did last year because we have more campers coming,” Savita said, adding that there will be even more campers than the 2019 season.

This summer, counselors and campers will also pet and care for alpacas, as well as a returning calf, sheep, chickens, and bunnies.

Finally, having a choice of what activity to participate in will be a priority, so that campers can focus on the activities they enjoy the most.

It truly is going to be a great summer!

Our Partners

Copyright 2024 Citizens Options Unlimited