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Faces of summer: The camp counselor


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For 22 years, Jojo Morrison has given every summer to Colorado Mountain Ranch Summer Camp. Beginning as a kid lapping up the sunshine in the beautiful mountain enclave and now as the camp counselor watching over all those kids, the Gold Hill native hasn’t really decided when she’ll walk away from the beautiful camp grounds to a regular 9 to 5. But in the meantime, she’ll live vicariously as a kid every summer—trying desperately not to burn.

What got you interested in becoming a camp counselor?

I couldn’t think of a better way of spending the summer. My office is outdoors and in nature. A lot of people say, “So when are you going to get a real job?” I say this is as real as it gets.

What do you do outside of the summer season?

I live in Australia during winter, working with women in domestic violence. I lived there for about a year and established myself and came back in and did case and private work for different women. So, I’ve been in summer for the past three years.

Do you miss the winter?

I love it when it snows in April and May. Definitely miss the snow, and I miss the seasons because where I live in Australia, it’s hot and tropical. I love the summer. People are more free and expressive, and I get to be outdoors.

How do you not burn?

I’m a ginger. Red hair and freckles. Yes, I’m used to getting burned. I usually have a giant stack of sunscreen near me.

What are some of your favorite activities at the camp?

I love our challenge course and nature hikes. Mountain boarding is always a blast. One of our favorite things to do is the kids get to spend the night. The staff chooses a theme, and we dress up. We’ve done Harry Potter and pirates versus ninjas. Every Thursday it changes.

I bet you see a lot of interesting things at camp.

We have this girl named Izzie, and she’s been diagnosed with Down Syndrome. She decided she wanted to perform a dance. She went out there and brought the house down. Everyone was dancing with her. It was to Katy Perry’s “Fireworks.” Every counselor was laughing and clapping. The way that everyone forms as a community here is just sensational.

For the kids who just aren’t that excited to be there, how do you get them excited?

There’s a lot of different ways to experience camp. It’s trying to get the kid to see what excites them. It can be really scary for them…but every Friday, they go home with a ton of friends and have an activity they love to do.

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