Friday, January 23, 2015

Meet the Team: Camp Texlake Retreat Specialist, Katie "PJ" Sweeney

Hi, I’m your new Camp Texlake Retreat Specialist. A little about me—I’ve been a registered Girl Scout for 23 years (10 years as a girl, 13 years and counting as an adult). 

I've earned my Girl Scout Gold and Silver Awards. I was even active in Girl Scouting while in college at Baylor University in Waco where I graduated in 2005 with a BA in Journalism and a minor in Social Work (the first person in my entire family to graduate with a 4-year college degree).

I grew up going to Girl Scout camp and those experiences impacted all aspects of my life. My first paying job was helping in the kitchen at Camp La Jita as a teenager, where I eventually worked my way up to the youngest Assistant Horseback Riding Director the camp had ever hired!

I've held a variety of odd jobs in my career, all of which have in some way helped me prepare to be your Texlake Retreat Specialist. In addition to my camp roles of counselor, horseback riding instructor and, most recently before Texlake, as camp director for Camp Mira Sol, I’ve held a variety of fun jobs in the “outside” world too. 

       When I worked in Communications for SeaWorld San Antonio, I got to travel across the country with the Animal Ambassador Team and variety of exotic animals to promote conservation. I love to tell stories of my adventures. When you come to camp, feel free to ask me what it’s like going through airport security with penguins or about the time a lemur tried to steal my sandwich while we were waiting in a van in Corpus Christi. I also spent eight months in the Disney College Program working at Disney World. I got to see how much hard work, and how many people, it took to run the happiest place on Earth.

                I’m lucky enough to currently live at Camp Texlake with my husband Don (Drummer is his camp name), and our dog, Zoey and cat, Kallie. I really love to cook. Getting in the kitchen and creating something new and unique from different ingredients is magical to me. I’m a total bookworm who also has a strong desire to learn new skills and just generally enjoys doing something I've never done before. I have a passion for traveling and meeting new people. Everyone has a special story and I’m excited to hear about those journeys. I also like collecting cool quotes, whether it’s from a camper or a famous person, I find these tidbits of wisdom incredibly inspiring and fascinating. 

One of my favorite quotes is:
If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse. - Walt Disney

You’re always welcome to follow my adventures at Camp Texlake on Twitter or Instagram (@CamptasticTexas).
Happy Camping,
Katie "PJ" Sweeney

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