Meet Male Village Leader Jacob Dahl!
I’m excited to be returning this summer as the Male Village Leader! I’ve been both a Camp Chief Ouray camper and a counselor for 16 summers. When I started camp as a shy seven-year-old, I didn’t know what to think. It was a little overwhelming walking into the dining hall Sunday night where everyone was singing (or shouting; it’s a well-known fact that volume trumps tone) songs I didn’t know. Now as an adult, I have seen the incredible ways camp not only creates fun experiences, but inspires you to be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be.
As a camper, I was in awe of my counselors. I thought they embodied the word cool. They were funny, kind, goofy, and genuinely cared about who you were, and making your camp experience amazing. In particular, I was impressed by the “Master of Fun and Games.” Whoever inhabited that position, I thought, was the embodiment of what camp should be. This was the person that “made” camp.
I knew from my first year at CCO I wanted to be a counselor. But I viewed this as a lofty goal, like actually winning Sprout Ball, or finding the one huge gold rock during “Gold Rush.” Well, lo and behold, in 2013, I was hired on as a counselor — the very role that had inspired me for so many years. Then in 2016, I found myself wearing the proverbial clown shoes of “Master of Fun and Games.” I was in a role that my shy, seven-year-old self never thought he could be in.
Over the years, I have seen countless other campers like myself transition to staff, wondering “how on earth did I get here?” The truth is, the only reason “we got here” is because camp itself inspired us to be those counselors. Camp instills confidence. Even during a short week at camp, I believe that campers leave inspired; one step closer to being the person they want to be, but never thought they could be.