How long have I been a fan of EDMO?
It all started back in 2005, the summer before my 5-year old twins were starting Kindergarten at Neil Cummins Elementary in Corte Madera. I was always a planner so, when I heard through the parent grapevine that Neil Cummins was hosting a summer camp, I got on board thinking it was a perfect way for my children to become acclimated to what would be their school for the next five years. I mentioned this to some friends and suddenly my family and two others were signed up for two weeks.
Well, it was almost as easy as all that. At the time, my husband and I were both working freelance jobs so our income wasn’t reliable. Thank goodness for Sliding Scale Financial Aid. We needed a little help and EDMO was on board. The first time my heart was aflutter and I was feeling the love.
The EDMO love grew from there.
Picture this: day one at camp, I get that dreaded phone call from the Camp Director (you know the feeling), “your daughter fell off the monkey bars and her arm hurts. She’s not crying but she’d like for you to come get her.” More love for EDMO. They nailed it on safety and charm, as the Camp Director was none other than Ed Caballero, EDMO Co-Founder & Executive Director. (Have you met him?) My brave girl was back at camp within days and, flash-forward 14 years, neither of us has ever left.
My twins and I lived that story with those faces on the “Our Team” and location pages of the EDMO website, with tags by our photos. For me, that arm story was an “in” when, years later, I was looking for a full-time marketing position in the non-profit world. Ed remembered my sweet girl (and me) and that fateful day at camp back in 2005. My 20 years of marketing experience didn’t hurt either.
EDMO is a part of my children.
My children, now 19-year old college freshmen, have followed the path of camper – EDMO Junior through EDMO Pro, to Leader-in-Training, to Counselor — even Instructor, Photographer, and Videographer. They’ve participated in the EDMO Film Festival and button contest, helped with painting in the office, distributed brochures, and more. This summer, I’ve been asked to plan our family time around the weeks of camp in Novato, as my daughter wants to “work the whole summer this year.” I’d like to say it’s because of the 10 years I’ve been part of the EDMO team, but it’s more.
Now, I don’t want my story to be tainted by the fact that I oversee EDMO’s Marketing & Operations — I was (and am to this day) an EDMO parent first.
Thanks to EDMO, my son has a:
- Passion for film and photography, with film being what he is pursuing at college (thank you, EDMO Clay Animation)
- Love of learning and skill set that includes softer skills like empathy and patience
- Great EDMO wardrobe, complete with T-shirts, headband, hat, watch, and sunglasses
- Resume of experience he has used when applying and interviewing for a variety of different positions
- Adorable girlfriend (another staffer he met at camp two years ago)
- Confidence that will serve him well in his film career and in life
As for my daughter, she has an:
- Awesome (or should I say A-W-E-S-O-M-E) story about her first day at camp
- Amazing “silly side” and comfort in being her most authentic self (knowing that people like her when she is)
- Uncanny “gift” of remembering silly jokes or all the words to each and every camp song (“Beaver 0, Beaver 1, Let’s all have some Beaver fun. Rat a tat tat…”)
- Ever-growing courage and adventurous spirit that allows her to put herself “out there” in new circumstances, try different things, and lead others
- Extensive wardrobe of costumes for “theme day” that she can pull together at a moment’s notice
- Accolades for being a multiple time EDMO Button Contest winner
- Caring and loving disposition that puts others at ease and makes others “want what she’s having”
As for me, I’ve found my second home — and I’m so glad that my children helped me find it and continue to be such a big part of it, “feeling the love” summer after summer.