Not all Friends Camp staff members are from the Northeast! We interviewed Molly Kaviar (counselor 2013 and 2014). Molly hails from Kentucky and now serves on the Camp Committee and has remained involved in the Friends Camp community.
I know this is cheesy but now whenever I see a sunset I think about Friends Camp.
How did you find out about Friends Camp?
I was a camper there! My aunt and uncle live in Boston and I used to visit them in the summers, and they took me to a Quaker meeting one summer and I met some kids who told me about Friends Camp.
What was your favorite part about working at Friends Camp?
I really liked designing morning programs, I felt like it challenged me in a good way and made me learn to be more creative. Maybe if you had asked me at the time I was working there that wouldn’t have been my favorite part but now, years later, it is something that sticks out in my mind the most.
Do you have a particular program that you did that you remember or that you really liked?
I did a program called Campfire Cooking where we cooked a different food over a campfire each day. The first day was a disaster because we didn’t start the fire early enough so it wasn’t hot enough to pop the popcorn, but Jack came and helped me out. The program was a good learning experience for me too. Jack came and taught us how to make a cake in a box over the coals of a fire.
When you think about your time working at camp, what is a memory or moment that comes to mind?
Well, I think the moments that always felt the most camp to me were always Vespers. I know this is cheesy but now whenever I see a sunset I think about Friends Camp. Also one summer I went on the HAT Trip to Acadia and that was really fun.
What do you do now?
I go to graduate school for urban planning which basically means you design policy for cities in relation to transportation, housing, and business, things like that. It’s like public policy with a more technical history.
What do you feel like you learned from working at camp? Do you feel like it comes up in the work you do now?
I think that working at camp really pushed me to be more creative, and I learned a lot about the importance of teamwork. I also learned how to work differently with different counselors, which allowed me to grow and be flexible in how I work with people. In relating to my work, I definitely think Friends Camp is relevant. There’s a history of social justice work in the Quaker community and the goal of public policy is to make communities better. I think my time as a camper especially, and as an adult working at camp, influenced my relationship to community and social justice. I remember simple meal was particularly important to me. Deciding as a whole group where to donate the money was so cool to me, and something I definitely brought to my activism.
What kind of activism have you been involved with?
Before I went to graduate school I was a community organizer in Kentucky, where I’m from, doing housing and voter activism, like voter registration and engagement. I worked with groups of people to help facilitate how to pick an issue to work on, how to collectively come to agreement, all of which ties back to Quaker values.
You are on the Board of Directors for camp. What does that look like? Why is this something you choose to participate in?
Being on the board helps me stay connected to camp, to stay connected to that community, and to give something back to it. I’ve definitely learned a lot more about camp from being on the board. What it looks like is basically talking to Anna about camp’s needs, this year we’ve been talking a lot about how to run camp during Covid, and we talk about the budget. I’m also on the development committee which was really important this year to raise money since camp couldn’t run.
Anything else you want to add?
I love Friends Camp!