Staff Spotlight: Jen Benalt
Number of summers at SLC?
Hmm… This year is 10! I spent three summers as a camper and then I worked six summers with jobs ranging from Teen Office, Counselor, Mainside Support Supervisor, Teenside Arts & Crafts, and Teenside Support Supervisor. This summer I am Teenside Head Counselor / Camper Support.
What is your favorite activity at SLC?
Do I have to pick just one? High ropes are awesome, Teva (nature) is super cool, and I love a good campfire! However, I am a drama kid at heart. I’d have to say drama and the All Camp Show.
What is your favorite meal at Camp?
Without a doubt, breakfast! All of the breakfast options make me super happy. For some reason, I love the camp oatmeal with raisins and cinnamon. The berries and yogurt on Saturday mornings and of course the hash browns when we have eggs!
What do you do when you are not at Camp?
I am a mom, wife, friend, and awesome entertainer. I recently learned to play mah jong and canasta. I love ALL things New Orleans – the music, the food, the people, did I mention the music?! I am a fan of roller coasters and travel. Although lately, my traveling has been limited to very long road trips to Florida. I love karaoke (my greatest performances are often when I’m alone in my car), seeing live music, and hanging with my friends and family.
What are you looking forward to this summer?
I’m really looking forward to developing relationships with campers and the staff. We all have our own special qualities and unique experiences. Being part of a larger supportive community and creating a safe space for campers and staff to venture out of their comfort zones and try new things/meet new people is what makes SLC such a special place.
What is your superpower?
My current superpower is my ability to connect with people and make them feel comfortable. The superpower I would like to have is time travel!
Who would you most like to meet (living or dead) and why?
Wow – this is a tough one. A quick answer will have me rattling off names like Jim Henson, Trombone Shorty, Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. Then I gave it a couple of minutes and these two remarkable women came to mind. I’d love to meet Margaret Sanger. Margaret was a trained nurse, however she was also an educator and grass roots birth control activist. She opened the first birth control clinic which we know of today as Planned Parenthood. I’d also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to hang out with Lucille Ball. She was a brilliant comedic trailblazer on the screen as well as a dynamic business woman.
What is your favorite Camp song?
My favorite SLC song is Nestling. It’s a meaningful tradition that (literally) connects everyone in Camp together. All camp events at the Eddie Cantor Theatre ending in Nestling it’s super powerful and always make me smile. The Mountainview cheer is something that I often find myself singing in my head. Could it be that I have an eight-year-old who fights me on getting in the shower? …”We never change our underwear or wash our dirty feet.”