Hello Girl Scouts!
A message from Kristina Sewell, our STEM and Outdoor Program Manager, or as she is better known, “Hot Tamale!”
My name is Kristina and I am so thrilled to be continuing to work with the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council. Many of you may already know me as Hot Tamale. This will be my 10th summer working for our Council. This summer I am super excited to be the Camp Director for our new, year-round facility called Camp Skyland Ranch!
I am strong believer in the Girl Scout Mission and our Council’s vision to help build girls and women of courage, confidence and character. I attribute Girl Scouting to helping me become the woman I am today. I grew up in Girl Scouts of Sierra Nevada Council and worked at camp as a young adult while moving to California after high school. I quickly found a new Girl Scout home with the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio and, more specifically, with Camp Azalea Trails.
I have had many adventures volunteering with GSSGC including Cali-Girls at Disneyland, Camp Catalina, destination unknown where we went to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and San Diego. My favorite adventure so far was being selected to chaperone a GSUSA Destination to New Zealand, Australia and Fuji. With this being my first experience traveling outside the United States, why not go with 25 Girl Scouts from all across the country and 3 other camp staff. On this experience I was able to explore Geo-Thermal activity in Rotorua, New Zealand, tour the Sydney Opera House in Australia and snorkel in the soft-hued coral of Fuji.
I would highly recommend looking into other Girl Scout Councils destination and going on one. I am someone who was never fortunate enough as a small human to attend camp as an individual girl. I did go to a troop weekend once with my Girl Scout troop in 8th grade. This peaked my interest in the camping world and I was hired to work in the kitchen at my local Girl Scout camp the summer I turned 16. At this point in my life, working at camp had been the best summer of my life even if I was washing over 500 plates a day! The summer I turned 18 is when I moved out to Southern California.
The opportunity to work at another camp didn’t come up until the summer I turned 20. I had a Girl Scout friend who recommended that I apply to work at Camp Azalea Trails because they had heard it was a smaller, more close knit environment. I was hired three days before pre-camp started and couldn’t have been more excited. Over the course of the summer I fell in love with everything Camp Azalea Trails had to offer. There was nature, happy campers and a wonderful staff that quickly turned into my “campily,” or camp family.
Camp Azalea Trails had so many amazing traditions: Counselor In Training (CIT) program, the directors at the last night campfire, the way they washed dishes, and even puppets known as Sneaky and Peaky who helped keep camp clean! This truly became a home away from home. I started out as a Unit Counselor, moved to Counselor In Training Director for three years, and since 2011 I have done a variety of administrative positions, such as Assistant Camp Director to Seasonal Camp Director. With the purchase of Camp Skyland Ranch I am now super excited to work for Girl Scouts year-round as the STEM and Outdoor Program Manager.
It’s a fancy title that essentially means I’ll be working on science-type stuff while being Camp Director. I can’t wait to create new memories and traditions with you this summer!