When people come to Tamarack Adventure & Retreat Center, they often want to come back as soon as possible, and this is the same for the employees! Page Gardner is a student at Oakland University studying journalism and communication, and 2019 was her second year at Tamarack Adventure. She wants to go into outdoor education as well as being a writer for outdoor journalism publications, which include magazines like Rock ‘n Ice and The Alpinist. “I’ve worked a lot of jobs and this is the most self-sufficient job I’ve ever had,” Page states. “I’ve become a lot more responsible because I have a lot to be responsible for here. I’ve become better at communication because there are so many staff doing so many things at once, needing different equipment and using different locations.” She feels these experiences have prepared her for a fast-paced work environment and career!
What really keeps Page coming back is getting to meet all of the kids and chaperones. “Watching the kids accomplish something they didn’t think they could do is so special. We always push them to step out of their comfort zone, so when they actually do it, they’re really proud of themselves and it shows” she says. “There aren’t a lot of jobs where you can witness such big moments like that where the kids will remember it fondly for the rest of their lives.” She also enjoys getting to work with a diverse group of people. There’s a lot of different staff and types of people from all over the world who come to work at camp. She says it’s really cool to be able to learn so much about other people and places.
Page’s favorite program to work on is the Tango Tower, one of the adventure courses. It has one of the biggest age ranges of participants, so she’s gotten to work with young kids all the way through to college-aged and corporate groups. She states, “It’s interesting to see the same struggles and worries no matter how old they are, and it’s always just as exciting when they push themselves further.” Whether people are looking to push themselves out of their comfort zone in middle school or college or their career, they can take that step at Tamarack Adventure. Page believes her experience with so many different types of people has opened her eyes in the same way the programs open guests’ eyes to a whole new perspective!