Counting down the days until summer 2017!

That’s exactly what Siobhan has been doing since the day she left Camp Ihduhapi last summer. Leaving her pillow and blankets behind, she just knew she would be returning for another summer! Siobhan is originally from New Zealand, and currently lives in the U.K. – we’re excited to welcome her back!

Along with some familiar faces, there will also be new staff joining the Ihduhapi crew this summer from all over the world! Lizzy will be one of the Wranglers joining us from South Africa where she has experience training baby lions! I’m sure she will fit in just fine with Prince, Toothless, and the rest of the horse herd. Amy is from Australia and she will be rockin’ out as the Arts and Crafts Director. Her energy is sure to inspire all of us! Andreas from Germany, Sean from the U.K., Mateus from Brazil, and many other international staff will hold highly important roles as cabin counselors this summer.

Summer staff are the heart of our summer camp. They are much more than cabin counselors; they are role models, friends, leaders, mentors, newcomb champions, superheroes, and more. They empower our youth, encourage independence, teach character development, and inspire confidence. We’re honored to have such a strong and growing international presence at Ihduhapi, from which our campers gain cultural awareness, inclusion, and perspective.

Ihduhapi wouldn’t be the special place it is today without our amazing staff, and for that we cannot thank them enough. To close, here is a note written by a return counselor, Jaena, to new counselors:

Counselors, for all of you that it's your first year here at Ihduhapi I want you to know one thing, that this place changes people. It changes you and you won't realize until that last week where you are sitting here at closing campfire possibly bawling your eyes out because you don't want to leave behind all of your friends who have turned into your family. I started off last summer thinking that I was going to have a fun summer back at camp. I walked in knowing nobody and never being here before and I walked out of the last campfire last year realizing that I would never really leave camp and camp would never actually leave me. I have a very literal mark that I love Ihduhapi on my arm, but it has left such a larger mark on my heart. Camp is a beautiful place that lives on in not only the staff, but it lives on in the campers. The campers who will be here this summer and were here last year, and will continue to be here next year. Without all of us here Ihduhapi is just a bunch of cabins, trees, and a lake that are beautiful to look at, but when you add all of the staff and campers this place becomes beautiful and so much more alive. So keep continuing to make this home of ours forever beautiful.

Whether it’s for the first time or the fiftieth time, we can’t wait to welcome you to Camp Ihduhapi this summer! We look forward to making new friends, trying new activities, telling stories at campfire, and soaking in beautiful sunsets, stars, and memories!