As I look back on my many years at Camp Sewataro, I find myself thinking of Alba. Alba Secatore Taylor, who founded Sewataro along with her father, Franklin Secatore, has played a large role in my life. She was my first employer. She gave me more responsibility than I expected and made me want to prove to her I could handle it all. She was terrific at keeping me just outside my comfort zone!
Alba was a powerful role model. I feel lucky to have worked with her for as long as I did. Little did I know during my high school and college years working as a Tribe Leader and as a Swim Instructor, that I would one day be working as the Camp Director. Years after Alba was gone from camp, I was able to draw on my memories of specific happenings and reflect on how Alba handled them.
I have been so impressed as I reflect upon the decisions she made and the pressures she faced. Her ability to balance the creation of a compassionate environment where children could flourish alongside the management of a successful business operation was exemplary.
Alba set the bar high. I learned early what it was like to work for someone who cared about your personal growth and noticed the contributions you made. Her work ethic was an inspiration. Her son Mark has continued as a role model for what can be accomplished by having a strong work ethic combined with a passion for caring for both the camp operation and the campgrounds.
I left camp in my college years and went on to pursue a career in high tech. Alba always kept in touch, attending my wedding and checking in with me frequently. She called me back in to camp when my three children were old enough to attend. Once again, Alba pushed me out of my comfort zone and gave me more responsibility.
She gave me the opportunity for personal and professional growth and she provided a transformational camp experience for my own children, who went on to become camp counselors themselves. My transition back into camp led me to a career change into teaching, which then allowed me to continue with camp for many summers.
Looking back on 34 years as director, supervisor, tribe leader, swim instructor, nurse’s assistant, extra, and an additional three as a camper, I am so grateful for all my camp experiences. Every summer brings new and past campers and staff together and a new community is created. The cycle begins again.
So, I thank Alba and Mark and the rest of the family: Bill, Chris and Rob, for the opportunity to work for so many years at such a special place. May the camp experience continue to be a source of growth and joy for all!!