National Camp Director (2008 – Present)
Jill (far right) with other staff during a camp activity.
In 1997, Jill was attending Ashland University for her degree in Recreation Administration. A group from our “Journey of Hope” program – a One Heartland speaking tour – came to her campus to share about the AIDS crisis and the opportunities for students to be counselors at One Heartland camps. Ten years later, Jill saw a job positing for our National Camp Director position and was reminded of the group she heard from at college. She applied immediately, flew to Minnesota to interview, and was hired. Jill just celebrated her 10th year with One Heartland.
Over the past decade, Jill has created so many camp memories she can hardly pick a favorite. One thing she loves to see every year is when returning campers show new campers the ropes. She also stays up-to-date on her lifeguard certification so she can supervise new campers as they try canoeing – one of her favorites. When a kid learns a new skill they’ve never tried before, Jill says, the look on their face is priceless. She also enjoys seeing our campers-turned-counselors give 100% and be great examples for young participants, like their counselors before them.
Camp hasn’t just changed Jill’s life, camp is her life. She has met incredible people, kept her child-like spirit alive, and learned some valuable lessons. First and foremost, she has come to understand that we are all different and should respect others and where they come from. Also, she says, “Camp has taught me that to be a leader is to step back and watch”.
Thank you, Jill, for everything you do to create the magic of camp for kids who need it most!