Ryan Massey

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Ryan "Ryno" Massey

Ryan "Ryno" Massey has been a member of the BRC community since the summer of 2000. Over the years, Ryan has been a major player in camp life. He was originally hired to teach art but by the end of his first summer he had become very interested in Campcraft. Ryan has made the Campcraft activity one of our best and most popular. Ryan was the CIT director for many consecutive summers and is credited with training many of the great Birch Rock staff members from the first decade of the 21st century.

Life Before Birch Rock

Ryan and his twin Blake are both world travelers. Ryan can honestly say he has set foot on all seven continents. He met his close friend Tyler Johnston at the Cambridge School of Weston, where Ryan studied studio art in preparation for his undergraduate studies at RISD. Tyler, who was a long time Birch Rocker, knew Ryan would love the Rock. So just before the summer of 2000, Mike Mattson hired Ryan to be the camp's art counselor.

Staff Years

Summers of 2000-2002

Ryan's McWain Monster float 2000

Ryan showed up at camp determined to give his all to the art program. His plan was to focus on outdoor art and sculptures. He was put to work right away by Rich Deering who asked Ryan to help the campers design a float for the Fourth of July parade. Ryan immediately keyed on the McWain Monster legend and decided to make a McWain Monster float. It was a top notch float. Ryan enjoyed the art but was drawn to the Campcraft activity. He quickly developed a bond with Campcraft master Mike "Don Miguel" Appicelli, and asked to be moved to the Campcraft area for the summer of 2001.

Although Tyler Johnston did not return the following summer, Ryan was drawn in and sold on what Birch Rock is all about. Ryan learned much from Don Miguel and focused mostly on Knife Rights and Fire Rights for the campers in '01.

By 2002 Ryan was highly experienced and fully energized about Campcraft. He was able to bring in the rest of the traditional Campcraft skills like axe craft, knots, shelters construction, and backcounty cooking.

Summers of 2003-2009

Ryan's first CIT group in 2003

In 2003, Ryan moved into Rat's Nest and took on the role of CIT Director. Ryan was a little nervous but also excited to be working with the same guys he had in Pete's Palace the summer before. Ryan created a fabulous CIT program and did such a great job that he continued in that position for five more summers. Also in 2003, Ryan and Head Counselor CJ Nesher decided to make Campcraft a mandatory piece of our program to make sure all the campers learned the basics of knives and fire.

Leading into the summer of 2004, Mike Mattson and Ryan were talking about the need for a new Evening Activity, and it was Ryan who immediately started planning out Geronimo. This game was first played in '04 and has slowly evolved over subsequent summers. It is now one of the most beloved activities at camp.

In 2005 Ryan decided to adjust the Campcraft program and added a new fourth badge. This new badge was called the Ranger. Ryan's long time Campcraft "apprentice" Sam Deeran would soon become the first camper to be awarded the Ranger badge.

From 2005 to the present Ryan has been one of a team of plaque makers who work on the season's plaques for the lodge wall.

In 2009 Ryno decided to make a radical change and move out of the positions of CIT Director and Campcraft instructor that he had excelled in for six years. He instead dedicated his summer to bringing the Junior Maine Guide program back to BRC by training two Senior Campers in skills like cooking, canoeing, orienteering, and Maine geography. In the second session Ryno and the two boys left camp to attend the JMG testing for five days. Both young men passed with flying colors thanks to Ryno's skillful teaching.

Summers of 2010-2013

The Head Counselor summers

Are You Ready?!! is Ryno's cry to start the game

In the winter after the summer of 2009 Ryno was asked to be Head Counselor for the following summer. After much thought and consideration, Ryno accepted the position. That summer he was an energetic and caring Head Counselor and furthermore started a fledgling horseback riding program. Ryan and Mike Mattson brought in the BRC Ice Cream Truck and continued with their Zambini Brother zaniness.

In 2012, Ryno and Mike prepared and organized Geronimo Weekend over a period of a weekend. A storyline and a weekends schedule was planned based all around Ryan's popular camp game Geronimo. The weekend had a Friday night pep-rally, a Saturday all day competition between the two tribes, a special Riddle Quest for the senior campers, a Sunday of Geronimo games. All ending with a Treetalk bringing the tribes all back together again. Ryan time, energy, creativity and drum play all stood out all weekend. This was an EPIC Ryno moment.

During the summer of 2013, Ryan spent a lot of time developing a game called War Games. This was a active game with a role playing element thrown in. The boys loved it! The game was fun but the characters and costumes were fun too. The storyline of a post-apocalyptic world bringing together two groups on a peaceful piece of land called Biroca. The two tribes want to fight but a game master comes forth and says "no". The Game Master says they must play War Games instead. The boys went crazy for this new game and helped develpoed the rules just like they had years earlier with Geronimo.

With Geronimo and War Games under his belt, Ryan is the master of games at Birch Rock and we look forward to seeing what else he'll create for us to play.

Summers at Birch Rock

Painting the float in 2002
Ryno can be seen helping out just about anywhere around camp
Working on the plaques
Instructing Campcraft
Year Cabin Role Activity
2000 Buzzard's Roost Counselor Art instructor
2001 Pete's Palace Counselor Campcraft
2002 Pete's Palace Counselor Campcraft
2003 Rat's Nest CIT Director Campcraft
2004 Rat's Nest CIT Director Campcraft
2005 Lion's Den/Deneault's Den CIT Director Campcraft
2006 Deneault's Den CIT Director Campcraft
2007 Deneault's Den CIT Director Campcraft
2008 Deneault's Den CIT Director Campcraft
2009 The Kennel Wilderness Adventure Director JMG
2010 Omar's Cabin Head Counselor Program
2011 Omar's Cabin Head Counselor
2012 Omar's Cabin Head Counselor
2013 Omar's Cabin Head Counselor
2014 Ryno's Tent Wilderness Skills Director & CIT Director Campcraft, Nature, JMG, Trips