Staff Spotlight: What’s The Best Job At Camp?

One of the best things about summer camp jobs is that there is truly a place for everyone! From cabin specialists who get to spend the day alongside their own group of campers to group leaders who keep things running smoothly for an entire age group, from program staff who teach activities like gymnastics, swimming, soccer, outdoor adventure and drama to support staff who ensure everyone at camp is comfortably fed, housed and kept in clean laundry, there are many different jobs at camp… and each and every one plays a vital role in creating our summer magic.

We asked some of our staff members a tough question: What is the best summer camp job at LBMC? And what makes it the best? Here’s what they had to say.

What Is The Best Job At Camp?

“I think any job at camp could be the best job. Every job is what you make of it! It depends on the personality of the person doing that job!”

“I’ve only ever worked in one program area, but I’ve seen two sides of it. I’ve worked as a general counselor, and that is awesome. It is exhausting both physically and emotionally, but the connections and relationships with your campers are the best. I remember every camper I had and could tell you where they all slept and a favorite movement with each. Leadership is amazing because you get to contribute to everyone’s experience, both campers and general staff, but the relationship between a cabin counselor and a camper is unlike any other.”

“Working at camp is just being surrounded by amazing strong women! My direct superior: woman. Her direct superior: woman. Owner of camp: woman (well, and Dan 😁). I think that is amazing … Empowered women empower women. I truly believe that being surrounded by amazing women will make any job at this camp AMAZING.”

“Any job where you get to work with the girls! They’re silly, goofy, smart, intelligent, and at camp to grow/have fun/make friends… it sounds pretty similar to the reasons staff come to camp.”

“I may be biased, but being a Group Leader is hands down the best job at camp. I not only was able to form meaningful connections with the sweetest girls in the Manor House, but I was able to form even deeper connections with the MH staff. Being able to be the go-to person for everyone in that house meant the world to me. I got to be a part of the outstanding leadership team that provided me with limitless resources and comfort and overall a group of people who stood by me and lifted me up and helped me every single day.”

“I love being a counselor and getting to get to know the girls and work with them.”

Aquatics, because you get to spend a lot of time at the pool with the beautiful view. And (most of the time) the girls really enjoy being there, so that’s really fun to see.”

“Being a cabin specialist, you get to do the activities with the girls almost as if you were a camper too!”

Photo of summer camp directors Jane, Eliza and Dan Kagan with their dog Bryn.
The position of Camp Dog has been filled… but there are lots of other summer camp jobs to explore at Bryn Mawr!

“I really enjoyed serving food and getting to see everyone’s faces. It was fun to be able to see everyone, especially if you may not have them in program or are with them a lot. It was good to get to remember names and have quick little conversations as the campers go through the line.”

“Probably Bryn’s job! Because who doesn’t want to be a dog.”

What do you think will be your favorite part of working at camp? Check out our list of summer camp jobs and apply today!

Honoring Peter the Bryn Mawr Angel Way

This fall, we lost our dear friend Peter Lai. Known as the “Everything Guy,” Peter saw his job at camp as doing whatever needed to be done, whenever it needed to be done! Peter was a shining example of the Angel Code values, and we saw him model Loyalty, Beauty, Merit and Comradeship every day, in everything he did. If you ever had a problem, if you ever wore a frown or looked like you needed help, it was practically a guarantee that Peter would stop whatever he was doing and listen to your problem, help you find a solution, or cheer you up.

Camp won’t feel quite the same without Peter’s warm smile. But there’s one thing we know for sure: If Peter saw us feeling sad, he would want to find a way to make us feel better. The best way we can honor his memory is to keep spreading the joy that he brought to everyone who crossed his path at camp, finding little ways to live the Angel Code — just like Peter did every single day.

Here are some of our ideas for ways to honor Peter’s memory. What else would you add to the list?

Reach out to someone who is lonely or feeling down.

Peter had a way of spotting anyone who was in need of a little extra TLC and doing whatever he could to put a smile on their face. This week, if you see a friend, neighbor or classmate who looks like they might be having a hard day, take a moment to ask them if there’s something you can do to help.

Volunteer to do a chore (especially one no one else wants to do!).

Whether it was bringing trunks down from the attic, running water to Wembley, or tracking down a missing item, Peter was always ready to do whatever needed doing. The next time there’s a task that needs doing, like emptying the dishwasher, helping a neighbor or cleaning up after a class activity, take the opportunity to honor Peter by saying the same words he always said  at camp: “I’ll do it!”

Be a friend to someone who needs it.

Think back to your first week of camp… We bet you have at least one memory of something Peter did to make you feel welcome! Now think about the other kids at your school and activities. Is there someone who’s new, or who seems alone or left out? When you see them, do what Peter would do: Go over to them, smile, and invite them to join your table, activity or conversation. You can share that same warm, welcoming feeling that Peter created for you when you were brand new at camp!

Share your stories with Peter’s family.If you have favorite memories or stories about Peter, or photos you would like to share, the Lai family would love to hear from you! You can send your remembrances to

Learn about the Peter Lai Scholarship Fund at Project Morry.

Do-It-Yourself Pop-Ups For Winter Fun

We had so much fun getting to see many of you at our Pop-Ups this fall! Big indoors gatherings might not be back quite yet, but there is a ton of fun to be had outside, even as the weather starts to get chilly. Here are some of our winter activity suggestions for outdoors meetups with your camp friends (or any friends!) this winter:

Gather for a game of kickball or Quidditch.

Who doesn’t love a silly game? Especially one that can be played in any park, field, or big backyard (even in the snow for a winter activity). If you need a refresher, you can find the rules for Quidditch online. (Did you know that kickball has its own special rules, too? So does Wiffle Ball, believe it or not.)

Go for a winter hike.

For hiking with no bugs and nice cool temperatures, find a fun trail near you and meet up to explore — no need for bug spray! Here are some ideas in New Jersey, Philadelphia, D.C., Long Island, Westchester and Florida. Hiking is an option even if you live in the city! Check out this list of winter walks and hikes for kids in and around NYC.

Stage your own Silent Disco.

Recreate one of your favorite camp evening activities in your own backyard! This app lets you set up a Silent Disco for you and your friends so you can dance to your own beat without driving your parents (and neighbors) crazy.

Yarn-Bomb a Tree.

Looking for an unusual art project you can do outdoors? This yarn-wrapping tutorial proves that even trees love friendship bracelets!

Paint in (and on) the snow.

Our fingers are crossed for some snow days this winter… we can’t wait to try out this super-simple do-it-yourself snow painting winter activity. All you need is water, food coloring, a few squeeze bottles… just add snow (and friends, of course)!

Fun winter activity ideas for kids

7 Gifts You Can Make At Home

The SHAC might be packed up for the winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t channel some of your summertime creativity into making fun, colorful gifts for your friends, family and teachers. Here are some ideas for beautiful, useful presents you can make with simple items from the craft store. 

  • Wondering what to do with all those camp photos? Turn them into photo coasters using this tutorial! These would also be great with family pictures or Bat Mitzvah photos.
  • Hot cocoa tastes even better in a personalized mug, made using oil-based Sharpie pens. You can do an initial, a design, or any shape you like (may we suggest… an angel?)
  • This ombre yarn-wrapped letter is easy to make with just a few basic items, and there are endless options for embellishments and colors.
  • Do-it-yourself magnets are a great way to share your art, maps of places that you care about, or very small photos. This tutorial shows you three ways to make them, using glass marbles, wood squares, or bottle caps.
  • Macrame is super popular, mega-stylish, and surprisingly not that hard to do! These mini macrames can be used as keychains or bag charms and dyed any color.
  • Have you seen the Perler bead daisy belts that have been trending on TikTok? Here’s how you can make those flowers yourself and turn them into charms for jewelry and accessories!
  • These braided bracelets can be made with jump rings and leather in any color (like, oh, say… green and gold…) and make a sweet addition to your friends’ arm stacks.
Tradition Time With Eliza!

Liza’s Tradition Time: Special Snacks (And Special Memories)

For those who have been to camp before, you know that when you think of snack, you think of Peter Lai standing on the deck of the Dining Hall. 

Peter knew that I loved ice cream and green (not red) apples and would always tell me the specific ice cream pop and the apple color for that day — because he knew that was what I was really wondering. That was Peter — he made everyone feel special and remembered things about them that no one else ever did! So Liza’s Tradition Time in this newsletter is dedicated to Peter, and all of the special snacks at Bryn Mawr. 

Some of you might be able to guess my favorite special snack at camp: It is Ice Cream Night. I love ice cream (with TONS of rainbow sprinkles), and I love Ice Cream Night at camp for so many reasons., I love serving the whipped cream in the sundae line (spoiler alert: I definitely give too much). I love the tradition of singing at Ice Cream Night. After everyone has their sundae, Bunk One asks different girls in camp to sing a song. It is a time-honored tradition that was one of my favorites as a camper and remains one today.  

Other special snacks at camp include Pizza Night, Chocolate Banana Night (ssshhhh…), churros, s’mores, funnel cakes, and hot pretzels! I know that I will miss seeing Peter’s smile every afternoon, evening, and special snack next summer… but I know that his spirit will always be with us, every time we go to the Dining Hall for snack!


Camper News

Welcome, 2022 New Campers!

Let’s give a “mighty cheer” for our newest Angels, who will be joining us for the first time in Summer 2022! We’re extending a big Bryn Mawr welcome to:

Manor House: Ann, Audrey, Avery, Blake, Emilia, Emilia, Lailah, Liv, Maya, Raphaelle, Seneca, Liv, Charlotte, Estie

Lodge: Alessandra, Brette, Daphne, Hallie, Julia, Kameryn, Mia, Ruth, Sadie, Sophia, Taylor, Zoe, Lola, Isabella, Ashley

Lower/Upper Juniors: Ava, Ayla, Jordana, Julia, Kaitlyn, Layla, Maya, Olive, Sydney, Talula, Twyla, Vienna, Nina, Liv. 

Lower/Upper Seniors: Ella, Francesca, Willa, Zoe, Sophie, Melissa 

We can’t wait to see you at camp next summer!


Today is Somebody’s AUTUMN Birthday…

Happy birthday to all of our September, October and November Angels!

September Birthdays

Birthstone: Sapphire
Flower: Aster (represents love and wisdom)
Famous September birthdays: Zendaya (September 1), Beyonce (September 4), Nick Jonas (September 16), Bruce Springsteen (September 23)

Happy September birthday to Alessandra (Lodge), Alexis (Lower Juniors), Alice (Lower Seniors), Ava (Lower Seniors), Avery (Upper Seniors), Avery (Manor House), Ayla (Lower Juniors), Charlotte (Lower Juniors), Charlotte (Upper Juniors), Chloe (Lower Seniors), Daphne (Lodge), Ella (Lodge), Emma (Bunk One), Hailey (Lower Juniors), Hayley (Lower Seniors), Juliet (Lower Juniors), Jameryn (Lodge), Kate (Lower Juniors), Layla (Lower Juniors), Layla (Lower Juniors), Leah (Lower Juniors), LIv (Manor House), Madeline (Lodge), Madison (Bunk Two), Rachel (Bunk One), Raphaelle (Manor House), Sarah (Bunk One), Savannah (Lower Juniors), Sophie (Bunk One), Stella (Bunk One), Summer (Lower Seniors), Sydney (Bunk One), Tallie (Bunk Two), and Willow (Upper Seniors)!

October Birthdays

Birthstone: Opal
Flower: Marigold (represents warmth and creativity
Famous October birthdays: Gwen Stefani (October 3), Ralph Lauren (October 14), Katy Perry (October 25), Nastia Liukin (October 30)

Happy October birthday to Addison (Upper Seniors), Brandi (Lower Seniors), Elle (Lower Seniors), Eloise (Lodge), Emily (Lower Seniors), Emily (Lower Seniors), Emma (Bunk One), Gabby (Manor House), Hallie (Lodge), Hannah (Lower Seniors), Isabelk (Lower Seniors), Isabelle (Bunk One), Icy (Upper Juniors), Lailah (Manor House), Lila (Upper Juniors), Lila (Upper Juniors), Liv (Lodge), Lucy (Upper Juniors), Maya (Bunk Two), Mia (Lodge), Morgan (Bunk One), Olivia (Lower Seniors), Olivia (Lower Juniors), Olivia (Upper Seniors), Olivia (Upper Seniors), Sadie (Lodge), Shoshana (Lodge), Sydney (Lower Juniors), Willa (Lower Seniors), and Zoey (Bunk One)!

November Birthdays

Birthstone: Topaz
Flower: Chrysanthemum (represents friendship and happiness)
Famous November birthdays: Lorde (November 7), Anne Hathaway (November 12), Scarlett Johansson (November 22), Miley Cyrus (November 23)

Happy November birthday to Abby (Bunk One), Aerin (Bunk One), Audrey (Manor House), Brooke (Upper Juniors), Charlotte (Upper Juniors), Charlotte (Manor House), Dahlia (Lodge), Jessica (Bunk One), Julia (Bunk Two), Julia (Lodge), Kaitlyn (Lower Juniors), Natalya (Upper Seniors), Sasha (Upper Juniors), Skylar (Upper Seniors), Sophie (Upper Juniors), Thea (Upper Seniors), Zahara (Bunk One), Zoe (Lodge), and DAN AND JANE!!!

Tradition Time With Eliza!

Liza’s Tradition Time: Anniversary Night

Picture this: It’s a warm summer Friday night. We are all in the Apple O’ watching the talent show. At the end of this special evening, after we have heard a story and shared random acts of kindness, there is a bonus: anniversary night. 

On this night, we celebrate our returning campers and staff and highlight the number of years that they have been at camp. We give out a number of coveted Bryn Mawr items: 

  • 3-Year Water Bottle 
  • 4-Year Drawstring 
  • 5-Year Jacket (an all time favorite) 
  • 6-Year Blanket
  • 7-Year Watch
  • 8-Year Backpack 

As a staff member, one of the coolest parts about returning to camp year after year is getting to watch campers grow up. While the items are all great, the most special part of the night for me is seeing the girls proudly come to the stage to be recognized for their years at camp. On this night each year, I get to take a step back and reflect on the experiences that I have the opportunity of watching each summer. Without fail, there are campers that shock me — I simply can’t believe that they are in their 5th, 6th, or 7th summer because I remember them starting in the Manor House! I love watching how all of our campers grow up at camp and this night is a reminder of that. 

I am so excited for anniversary night 2021 (and every year beyond) to watch ALL OF YOU grow up at camp! Remember that when you get those special items — whether water bottles, drawstrings, jackets, blankets, watches or backpacks — they’re not just gifts. They are a reminder of how grateful we are to have YOU in our camp family.

How many years have you been at LBMC? Check out this list!


Angel Spotlight

And Now, A Word From Najah

Is chilly winter weather getting you down? Najah to the rescue! Enjoy this burst of her trademark energy and enthusiasm anytime you need a little dose of camp sunshine. We bet you a dozen pizza bagels that this video will get you fired up for Summer 2021 at Bryn Mawr!

What other staff members would you like to see in Poplar Post videos? Send us an email and let us know!

Tradition Time With Eliza!

Angel Ceremony

“Tears that Angels Cry” is a song you might go your whole life without hearing if not for Bryn Mawr. To the Bryn Mawr family, it only takes three notes of the song to know what is happening: The Angel Ceremony.

Eliza Kagan as a Bunk One Camper at Lake Bryn Mawr Camp, showing off her angel necklace with a bunkmate
That’s me on the left, minutes after getting my angel!

One of the most special traditions at Bryn Mawr is our Angel Ceremony. In Bunk One, each camper receives a silver angel. Dan always starts this ceremony by saying that the value of the angel is not in the silver, it is an intrinsic value — the symbolism that connects you to Bryn Mawr, your camp memories and all former and future angels. Each year, this sentence brings more and more meaning to me. 

The angel that I received when I was in Bunk One connects me to my camp friends and my memories as a camper, but also to all other alumni that I have come across in different paths of life since finishing camp. Bryn Mawr is the most special connection, and each and every time I see a former Angel, I feel special to be a part of this giant family! 

Over the years, the symbolism of my own angel has come full circle. Since returning to LBMC as a member of the staff, having the opportunity to give a new group of Bunk One girls their angels has been extremely special for me. My angel not only connects me to my friends and my experience, but to the girls that experience that same Bunk One magic each and every year. I am counting the days until I am on that stage, Dan and Jane cue the music, and we can give the ’20-’21 Super Seniors their angels.