Meet Your Year-Round Staff: Carrie Kishline – Camp Fire Central Puget Sound

What’s your name? Really?
Where are you from? I grew up in Kent, WA and have lived here on Vashon for the past 7 years.
What’s your job at Camp Sealth? Senior Program Manager (I supervise Resident and Day Camp)
Did you go to camp as a kid? Did you like it? I started going to camp (here at Sealth) when I was 10, and have only missed one summer so far! I loved camp every year growing up – I went home singing all the songs, and couldn’t wait to go back the next year. Camp made me who I am today – it sounds really corny, but it’s true. This is my 20th summer at Sealth, and I’m just as excited to part of the camp magic as I was at age ten.
What did you think you were going to be when you grew up? When I was in junior high, I thought I wanted to go into forensic science, because I was obsessed with the X-Files. After that, I wanted to teach high school or college level math. I didn’t know that you could make a career of working at camp!
What’s your favorite camp food? Breaded & baked chicken breasts, roasted red potatoes and cheesecake

What’s the best thing that has ever happened to you at camp? I discovered the things that I am good at, and that I can make a living doing those things. Working every day to help build a new future of caring, responsible adults makes me pretty happy.
If you could be bunkmates with any person, living or dead, who would it be? Honestly, I would choose my favorite camp counselor, Alto. She was my counselor for two years, then my supervisor one year when I was on staff, and we have stayed in touch since then. She is spunky, hilarious, has an incredible singing voice, and loves camp as much as I do!
What’s one thing Camp Sealth has that other camps don’t have? A beautiful history of talented, passionate people that helped build and sustain the camp and the program over so many years.
If you were an animal, what animal would you be? Why? I have always thought that cats have a pretty easy life for the most part – eat, sleep, purr, chase things around the house – so I would probably want to be a cat.
Tell us a funny camp story. My last year as a camper, we took a canoe trip to a piece of property 6 miles north of Sealth, called Shangri-La. The trip there was fine, although it took forever. The campsite itself was pretty unimpressive – it was built on a hill and full of mud, so it wasn’t that inspiring. The problem was on the way back – the current was so strong that we were barely making any headway. Our counselors had a brilliant idea – we rafted together the six canoes, side by side, and held them together. Two people used their paddles as rudders in the back of our “raft”, and two other people stood up in the front holding a gigantic plastic sheet as a sail. We sailed all the way back to camp. Years later, I was talking about this story with Dana, who was also a camper in that cabin. Her view of the whole thing was a little different – she thought it was overall a pretty miserable experience, but it was one of the highlights of all my years at camp.
What does camp mean to you? Camp is one of the only places that develops all of those life skills that you can’t learn in school or at home. People who grew up going to camp are more compassionate, better leaders, and take an active interest in bettering their community. It’s also a place where people can be themselves and where they are accepted for who they are.