A Little Piece of Lonehollow
Hello, my name is Hyer Thomas and I am a 20-year-old junior at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. I spent 7 years at Lonehollow as a camper and 2 years as a guide. I have done it all from Maverick to Crew Leader and from Guide to Division Director. However, despite being at Lonehollow for so many years, the excitement of new challenges, new friends, and new experiences kept me coming back.
I arrived at Lonehollow in 2009 without knowing anyone or anything about the camp for that matter. Yes, I was homesick my first couple of days, but making new friends, trying new things, and learning things about myself I never would have was something that I wanted to experience year after year.
Every year I came back, I knew that I would see familiar faces, take some of the same classes, and participate in the constant traditions of my crew and camp. But some of the best parts of camp were when I made new friends, took classes I never thought I would, and started traditions that would last for years to come.
When I started my first summer as a guide I, again, went in not knowing what to expect or who I would meet. I, again, was nervous, but I knew that Lonehollow would be there for me and it would all work out. I made more best friends than I ever imagined, and I experienced summers where no one day was ever the same.
There are few places in the world that you can experience a completely new situation every day with the same people, and I think that is what makes Lonehollow special. Hundreds of people, kids and adults alike, growing and learning together, surrounded by mountains, centered around a soccer field, and perfectly adjacent to a lake. I can’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else.
However, as we all know too well, things do change. As someone whose camp time has come to an end, I can speak to the benefits it has given me personally and professionally.
Lonehollow taught me how to be responsible, adaptable, and a team player – things that all employers are looking for.
I learned responsibility as a lifeguard on the Waterfront, where I knew that the lives of many children where in my hands. It doesn’t get much more high stakes than that!
I learned adaptability as a guide because you never know what to expect. Rain during an evening program or a sick camper in the middle of the night. No matter what the situation, my fellow Guides and I quickly learned not to fret, but rather to move forward and make the most of the situation.
Lastly, and most importantly I learned to be a team player. Working with many different Guides, teaching classes and interacting with hundreds of different kids every day, allows you to learn to communicate with anyone and be a great team member.
I have talked about all of these things in interviews, and I wouldn’t have traded my experience for anything else. The skills you learn at Lonehollow are ones that will make you a better employee, as well as a better person. Thank you, Lonehollow, for the good times and for preparing me to be a great employee in any field.
I have once referred to Lonehollow as heaven and the little moments we all encounter while we are there as the little slices that we can take with us forever. I am convinced I have many pieces of Lonehollow with me today that will stay with me forever.