May 17, 2023
Jolly: Hello CR Today I am with…KI!!! I can’t wait to introduce those of you who don’t know KI, whose actual name is Kathie Immerman, but at camp we call her KI, and for those of you who know KI I know you’ll be thrilled to hear a little bit more about KI and things you may not have known. The first thing - tell us about your journey to Robindel.
KI: Well, I had worked at some other camps along the way and I met my husband at a previous camp. We decided we wanted to come up to New England. We interviewed and started working for Camp Robindel. I’ve been here for quite a long time, because I love it!
Jolly: I know you have a son. And, there is kind of a connection here because my first summer was his first summer! Although I was considerably older than he was at that time (he was a baby). So, you started your family and decided to raise your family in a camp environment. Tell me about that.
KI: We knew that Robindel was a very loving place and we knew it was a wonderful environment with a lot of great values and great people and we knew he could learn a lot. So, he just kept going through and he loved it so much that he didn’t go to camp, he just loved being here. He made a lot of good friends and it was a great, nurturing environment for him and it helped him become who he is.
Jolly: Those of us who know Robindel know that we have a lot of young families. I don’t mean to embarrass you, but we grew up with you there, watching you be a mom and work as a camp professional and a professional outside of camp…
KI: I teach physical education in New Jersey, which I love. I work with social-emotional learning within schools and I also consult for a company out in California to help schools learn about fitness and social-emotional kinds of things.
Jolly: We were watching this woman, who is a mentor to so many of us, be a mom, a camp professional, and have her own profession outside of it…and so, someone like me comes along and decides the same thing – I love camp, I love what it has done for me, what it is doing for campers and other staff members – and decides to have my own family. We have you to thank because I think you really did set a tone that it is possible to have all these things. There are a lot of families at camp and I think we really do all follow in your footsteps.
KI: It takes a village, and Robindel is a village!
Jolly: Tell me what you do now at camp. What is your role?
KI: My role now at camp is I am the Junior Unit Leader, which I absolutely love… to nurture the youngest campers and counselors to fall in love with camp. And also, to try to have them start to grow both to love camp and personally. Sometimes (girls and counselors can both) be a little nervous or worried when they come in, but it is wonderful to see as they gain skills in so many different areas to be able to see them develop as young women, and then eventually go all the way through camp.
Jolly: You’re my mentor personally. When you look at all of the people who work at camp…Naty, Cori…all of us came through your division and learned so much…department heads…Poppy, Nicole, Sarah, Bea…all of camp has grown up under this woman. It’s an incredible gift for all of us to have your professionalism, and your love and passion for camp. Yes, you start with our juniors and you really help them see themselves at camp and be part of our community, and help them to be successful, but I think you’ve done that for all of us!
KI: It’s great because so many of the people who come to Robindel want to continue to learn and grow, and that’s what keeps me going too. Robindel has this natural inspiration to be the best that you can be.