Josh Church

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Head Counselor Josh Church 1993

Josh Church was at Birch Rock for nearly a decade from 1987 through 1994. A precocious Birch Rocker, he was the last 15 year old junior counselor (he was actually a CIT covering a cabin on his own) and one of the camp's youngest Head Counselors. Josh was a wizard on the waterfront and spent most of his time in the swim area. Josh was most well known for his efforts on stage and was a Campfire MC for many summers.

Life Before Birch Rock

Josh's mother was not a fan of Harold Buckler, a midwestern ne'er do well whom Josh had fallen in with. She found an advertisement for BRC in the back of his fathers Dartmouth alum magazine and promptly signed him up. The rest is history.

Camper Years

Summers of 1987-1989

Josh and Justin Ingold on the Moose River trip

Josh arrived in Eagles Nest with a modern haircut and a traditional attitude. Josh spent his camper years perfecting his perfect stroke at canoeing and swinging a tennis racket with reckless abandon. When forced up to the baseball diamond, Josh was typically the tannest camper in right field. His "generation" of campers, Josh, Justin, Terrence, Bill, and even Doug, ran BRC from the bottom up. Josh also displayed a great affection for Right Guard aerosol deodorant although rarely using it on his person.

Counselor-in-Training Year: 1990

Due to a limited number of staff members, Josh was asked to head up Hilton A his CIT year, making him the last of the 15 year old counselors (even though he was technically a CIT). In 1990, the swim staff consisted of Josh and Waterfront Director Mike Mattson. This was the last summer of a set of old and breaking apart battleship grey catwalks. Either Josh or Mike would be in the water fixing catwalks almost every period, leaving the other to teach the swim groups solo. This often meant one counselor had to teach two or three different swim groups at the same time, which left little room for creative teaching. Campers were assigned lots of laps, treading water, and long distance swim endurance work. Josh did such a great job as a CIT and integrating in with the staff that he was asked to return in 1991 as a counselor.

Staff Years

Summers of 1991-1992

Chuck Hatcher and Josh, Swim Instructors

Josh spent much of his time on the waterfront. In the early years he leaned more towards sailing and canoeing but it wasn't long before he was teaching full time at swimming. Josh was the head of Hilton for a few summers and was known for his antics with the camp's youngest campers. Josh was also a key contributor to Birch Rock's Biroca Blast during those summers. Josh and Justin Ingold would take all night at the end of the summer finishing up the Biroca Blast with the help of lots of coffee and loud music. Many remember the all-nighter Josh and Justin spent in the Infirmary writing articles for the Biroca Blast and the following morning when they were seen dancing about on the Infirmary deck to Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. The parents arriving at camp that day and many were full of smiles watching the craziness at the top of the hill.

Another fond memory of the craziness between Josh and Justin involved the two playing pranks on each other every morning. They would alternate whose morning it was to get something creative in his morning cup of joe. It started tamely: one morning Josh added a little salt to Justin's coffee, and the next morning Justin added honey to Josh's cup, and so on. The battle ended with Justin waking up early and boiling a cup of soy sauce and serving it to Josh as coffee. Josh surrendered quickly.

Summers of 1993‒1994

Josh Church 1993

In 1993, Josh moved into the Swordfish and became the camp's Head Counselor. He was one of the younger counselors on campus and commanded a highly experienced group. Josh worked closely with then Camp Director Brad Smith and his Program Director Mike Mattson in organizing more events off campus and purchasing new equipment for both the field and the waterfront.

The summer of 1994 marked the first official BRC pep-rally the night before an inter-camp soccer game. The stump that sat in the middle of the old grove was layered with logs and set ablaze. The senior staff, in face paint and tribal-like clothing did a dance and began chanting around the fire shortly after lights out. Drums (pots and pans) were banged and the campers were called to the grove. The soccer team was brought forward and blessed by Josh and Mike Mattson and shamans of weather and victory. The team captains were brought forward and praised for their leadership.

Josh's Summers at the Rock

Who's the real Burger King
Josh's first camper year 1987
Year Cabin Role Note
1987 Eagles Nest Camper with Counselor Ron Mattson
1988 Buzzards Roost Camper with Counselor Chris Cogswell
1989 Pete's Palace Senior Campers with counselor Joe Curry
1990 Hilton A CIT Sailing, Canoeing & Swimming
1991 Hilton A Junior Counselor Sailing & Swimming
1992 Hilton A Counselor Swimming
1993 Swordfish Head Counselor Program
1994 Cabin 8 Head Counselor Program