Outstanding Staffers Recognized: 2021
The Camp Read Association recognizes the importance that the following quartet made to Camp during the summer of 2021. Last summer was a difficult year - Covid19 had closed camp for the entire previous summer. Covid19 continued to impact camp in 2021 affecting staffing, food services and camper and staff programs.
These four, along with their colleagues, made summer at CSR a memorable experience for all who attended. Recognized at the Staff Awards Dinner at Buckskin in August, members and friends of the Camp Read Association should know who these outstanding young people are. They made Camp happen during a very difficult year. Based on their own submissions, the following show what Read has meant to them, their take on Scouting and an update on their recent activities - and we all hope, their interest in returning for the Summer of 2022!
Shannon Aileen Lamont
Reservation-wide Staffer of the Year: 2021
What was Camp Read to me?
“This camp will become your home!”
It was the summer of 2019 and Greg Roman’s words echoed across Camp Read, bounced off the mountains, and landed squarely in my memories, where they have stayed to this day. I didn’t fully believe his words -- I didn’t even see my own house as a home, so why would I trust this random, overly-energetic stranger!? Turns out his promise rang true and somehow my opinion on the matter changed... and let me tell you, that is not an easy feat. For the first time in my life, I thought that I had finally found my place.
In 2020, as we all know, camp was cancelled due to the pandemic. Like many of you, I missed my summer at Camp Read for a number of reasons, but mostly because I missed spending time with my camp family. I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to return in 2021, but luckily, my plans changed and I found myself reuniting with my friends who are, in my opinion, the best camp staff around! Having made countless memories here with all of the people I’ve grown to love, I hate to break it to you, but I already know something that you don’t. You WILL become a member of this family...good luck escaping! No one ever has, but then again, no one’s ever tried.
So who am I, you might be wondering?
My name is Shannon Lamont and I’m a senior at Wamogo Regional High School, which is an agricultural school. I have two jobs, one in an animal feed warehouse and another in a kitchen. I am a part of my school's sports and extracurriculars, such as CDE’s, which are (agricultural competitions). I am also a member of Troop 2019, working on completing my Eagle Scout rank. To say that I’m ‘busy’ is an understatement. After high school, I will be entering the United States Army for food services, with an end goal of becoming a dietitian officer. Now, I know this camp has nothing to do with the military; however, it sure has helped me with skills in the kitchen (even if it was a little questionable at times…). Nevertheless, it was always a memorable experience and part of this is due to the wonderful people that I had the honor of working with.
There are two people on this glorious reservation that have greatly impacted me... I owe a major thank you to both of them. John Courtney (Camp Ranger) and Kris O'connor (Head Ranger) stood by me and supported me, regardless of how full their schedules already were. And let me tell you, they were FULL schedules. Whether they know it now or not, they will be coming to my Basic graduation (shhh, don’t tell them, I didn’t ask them yet!).
I’ve had some really loving people around me throughout my life, but before camp, I never had an adult to genuinely look up to. I truly want to make both of them proud and that will never be a feeling that I take for granted. Why? Because people never forget their heroes and I’m lucky enough to say that mine have become family to me. John Courtney and Kris O'connor helped build me up and give me the reinforcement I never knew I needed. While they didn’t do anything big or extravagant, it was every conversation, every reminder of their love and unconditional support, and every tiny act of human kindness that have made a huge impact on my life and the person I am today. For this, I can’t thank them enough... I’ll NEVER have enough words or time to give them the thanks that they deserve; luckily, they already know how much they mean to me.
In all honesty, I owe everything to this camp. For me, home was never where I grew up. My home is through the woods, in the middle of the Adirondacks, and up the mountains I’ve climbed each summer. If you’ve ever felt lost, unseen, or misunderstood, I’m happy to inform you that it’s not going to be that way for long. You’ve found your place. You’ve found your people. Welcome to Camp Read.
Shannon Aileen Lamont
Buckskin Staff Award Recipient: 2021
My Camp Read experience from the summer of 2021 was far and away the best experience I've ever had.
I served the first 4 weeks as Handicraft Staff and the last 2 as Handicraft Director. This being my first year on staff, there was always plenty for me to be nervous or scared about. I learned a lot of things from my experience that I'm going to carry with me the rest of my life. It wasn't always great, I had some hard times personally, but I'll never remember this past summer as anything except the best summer of my life.
Since I've been back, I've started my senior year at Horace Greeley High School. I played football from the end of August to the end of October. Recently, as a member of Troop 2 Chappaqua, I’ve been working on my Eagle Scout Project and powering through my senior year. All in all, I'm just really excited to get back to Camp Read.
Waubeeka Staff Award Recipient: 2021
One of my worst memories as a staffer was when I got sick the first week of camp and wasn’t able to attend the first opening campfire.
One of my best memories at camp as a staffer was when I rebuilt the Scout-raft, a scoutcraft project that was built in the past by previous scoutcraft staff members. The raft had rotted during the past year since Summer 2020 camp was closed due to covid.
One of my best camper experiences was when my Troop took second place in a Dutch oven cooking contest.
One of my worst memories is when the camp closed early the first year I went up to Camp Read, due to a stomach virus that went throughout Buckskin and Weebeeka. Many of the camp staff and campers got sick and the camp closed early.
My current rank in Boy Scouts is a Life Scout.
My current activities are wrestling, school, and taking care of my puppy, Franky.
Camp Manager of the Year: 2021
Matt has been working at camp since 2009
2021 was his 3rd Summer as Program Director
Teacher at Ossining High School. 2021 is his 4th year in the district.