Embracing New Challenges – Camp Fire Central Puget Sound
Lucy and Poppy Kearney share smiles with their sister, Tess.
Lucy and Poppy Kearney share smiles with a Camp Sealth camper.

Twin sisters return to Camp Sealth summer after summer, learning and growing alongside campers.

Poppy Kearney had no idea what to expect when she flew 6,000 miles away from her home in England to work as a counselor at Camp Sealth. The closest thing to summer camp she and her twin sister, Lucy, had ever experienced was a job caring for kids and with special needs — like their sister, Tess — during vacations from school. It didn’t take long for Poppy to realize that her role as a counselor would give her as many opportunities to learn, grow and discover her strengths by embracing new challenges as her young campers. She had such a great experience, she returned for a second summer, this time as a unit leader overseeing several counselors. She was nervous at first but quickly grew into the role.

“I realized I do have the confidence. I can step up, all it takes is being supportive, working hard and being open to
everyone — the same values we encourage in our campers.”

Lucy joined the Camp Sealth staff as a counselor during Poppy’s second summer. She then moved up to inclusion coordinator the following year, supervising counselors who support kids with special needs and running our Shooting Stars camp for children on the autism spectrum. Just like her sister, Lucy wrestled with doubts at first.

“I had never managed people before, but I earned their respect,” I learned I’m pretty calm under pressure.”

Lucy and Poppy (or Lolly and Pops as they go by at Camp Sealth) just graduated from college in England. Lucy is pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology and Poppy is beginning a master’s program in business. They’re taking these next steps toward their careers feeling well-prepared for the challenges ahead, thanks to Camp Sealth. Someday they hope to open a camp of their own.

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