Recently I seem to have read a number of articles and listened to even more podcasts about the positive affect of connecting with others. Sharing a genuine connection with others promotes feelings of self-worth, provides opportunities for inspiration, increases happiness and physical health, among other things. As important as it is to make connections with others, it’s also important to consider the people that you surround yourself and connect with as the attitudes and practices of those people influence you. It comes as no surprise that being in the company of someone with a positive outlook on life lifts your mood, or that being with someone who is quick to help out encourages and inspires you to do the same.

Considering this, I find myself enormously fortunate to be the camp director at Eagle’s Nest Camp. For three months each summer I am surrounded by creative, hardworking, passionate, kind people – counselors and campers alike. I love the moments I have throughout each day to share a thoughtful conversation with a camp friend or to work together on a project. At Eagle’s Nest I feel supported and inspired by my community. I think that many of our counselors and campers feel the same. There’s a good reason that so many of them consider Eagle’s Nest a second home.

It’s interesting how many people carry these supportive relationships beyond camp. Counselors often get together throughout the year, go on adventures together (two Eagle’s Nest Counselors drove across the country this past year and two others went on their own Hante to Iceland this fall) and even become roommates as they begin careers in new cities and countries. Campers often develop lifetime friendships too. (If you haven’t read this Eagle article about two camp friends who rode their bikes from Maine to California last fall, check it out).

This past weekend I was able to travel to New York for an alumni gathering in Brooklyn. I loved being with a group of long time Eagle’s Nesters – many of whom had grown up at camp, participated in Hantes, attended The Outdoor Academy, and worked on staff. Even though some of us haven’t seen each other in years, or had never met, the conversation and smiles came easy. My heart warmed as the evening went on, and I felt light and happy when I hugged everyone goodbye.

In the coming months we will be hosting a number of alumni gatherings and Eagle’s Nest parties. I hope that I’ll see many alums at these events. Please follow the Camp, Hante and Foundation Facebook pages so you’ll receive notification about an event in your area. Please also up-date your information with us so we know where to find you. And if you are interested in hosting an event, please contact with me at I would love to connect!

By Paige Lester-Niles, Camp Director