For Carter Gudell, camp is a place where his passion for working with children and love for the outdoors meld into one. Having recently completed the Outdoor Leadership Program at Greenfield Community College, being a part of camp seemed like the perfect fit. He first discovered Double H Ranch with his family, attending Camp Inspiration for the past six summers with his brother, Grayson. Inspired by his experiences as a family member, Carter joined the Double H Ranch staff for the first time this summer. Hear more about his summer at Camp:
What brought you to camp?
My family attended a few family weekends at Hole in the Wall Gang Camp with my brother, Grayson, where we learned about the Adaptive Winter Sports Program at Double H Ranch. We initially came to Double H for the winter program, but have since spent 6 summers attending Camp Inspiration.
What made you decide to be a counselor after coming with your brother for so long?
I see a lot of good done for people here. It has done so much good for my brother, my parents and I as well as our surrounding friends and family. I felt the need to give back to camp, and it has been super rewarding.
What might someone be surprised to know about camp?
We do SO much with the kids. Some may think that because these kids may have a disability, they can’t ride a horse or go onto the ropes course or zip line. In fact, Grayson loves the zip line – it’s one of his favorites. As is swimming, even with a trach. We do everything to have safe fun and always in a responsible way.
What is one of your best camp memories?
It’s hard to pick just one! But, the first time I made the trapeze jump at the ropes course – I got it. It was a couple years ago, during Camp Inspiration. I was so nervous that I wouldn’t get it, but I just jumped. I ended up catching it and it was a very transcendent moment for me, I just felt very good about myself. The year before that, I couldn’t even finish the climb to the top!
What do you believe to be the biggest benefit about being a part of Double H?
I feel like a kid again. It’s my job to play and interact. It’s fun to pick their brains and get into their mindset, and just be a kid.
What cabins have you been in this summer, and what makes it special?
The first half of the summer I was a Muskrat. That was special for me because it is many of the campers first time at camp. Everything they’re experiencing is new. Plus, they’re the craziest little things you ever did see. The second half of the summer I have been a Chipmunk. That was special because it is the cabin that switches between girls and boys. Being able to work with both in a single cabin has really made for some great moments of camp magic.
What is your favorite camp activity?
Camp Out with the Beaver and Bear cabins. It’s great to see the campers interact with their peers and spend time outside.
What about your favorite camp food?
In three words, how would you describe your experience as a counselor?
Satisfying, humbling, and goofy!
Interview by Lauren Dameron, Development Intern