Alumni Watch: 2013’s Melissa Hunka!



When we interview staff and alumni and ask why they want to work at Camp, they often speak of helping campers grow, learn and building their self-confidence and self-esteem. At the end of the summer they realize not only have they helped “their campers” grow, they themselves have grown and gained just as much as their campers. First up in our ‘Alumni Watch’ blog series is Melissa Hunka from summer 2013!

Job at Camp:
General counselor for the Fireflies (Stepping Stones)

Wheaton, IL (suburbs of Chicago)


Michigan State (Go SPARTANS!) I studied Elementary Education, K-8th, with a minor in Language Arts and English Language learning.

Years at Camp:
The first year it opened! I was one of the original crew.  Hopefully I will be back for more camp soon!

When I’m not at Southampton Camp and Club you’ll find me…13548845_10154156804072597_1647789174_o
I live in downtown Chicago now and I am now an elementary school teacher!

Camp background:
I have been going to camp for as long as I can remember. I was a camper at a day camp for many years in my hometown and then I became the counselor of that camp for many years. I moved on to be a counselor at SCC and that was the best choice.

Why I decided to work at camp:
I have been working with kids since I was 12 and I always enjoyed it. I have been a camp counselor, babysitter, nanny, and teacher. I was searching for an out of state camp job and happened to find SCC and I fell in love with the place.

Most Treasured Memory from Camp:13563378_10154156804057597_1784276082_n
I love being with the little ones. They are so excited to be at camp and it’s fun to look at everything we do from their perspective. I still miss my littlest campers! Also, every day there is good weather is a great day at camp!

Favorite Activity at SCC:
I love swimming because it is fun watching the little ones learn to love the water and become great swimmers. I also love the crafts because they are very creative and the kids enjoy them.

What I love most about SCC:
If you love working with kids as much as I do then you will love it. The counselors love what they do and they enjoy having fun. SCC is about making the day fun for the kids and we get to have that experience with them!

What have you learned from camp and what will you take with you in the future?13551197_10154156804047597_2118750975_n
Camp, and in particular Southampton Camp & Club is an amazing opportunity to learn and grow in a camp environment. You get to work with other people your age and be a role model for kids every day during the summer. I will always try my best to be a good role model for kids I teach and will definitely help foster the STARFISH values we learned at camp.  I also will always carry the great memories I have made at SCC and keep in contact with good friends and campers. I hope to return one day.

I love SCC!