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Love Blooms at Agassiz Village

In honor of Valentine's Day, we talk to generations of couples who found love at Agassiz Village.

Written by Autumn, Agassiz's amazing intern

As Agassiz Village has been a beloved, summer home to hundreds of youth and adolescence, a sweet romance is sure to blossom along the way.

Everyone loves a good love story… and we have a few special ones.

Carlos & Leslie

How did you meet?

“I was seventeen and my sister had convinced my parents that it would be good for me to get out of Dorchester for the summer and go work at the camp she went to the summer before”, said Carlos. “Her ringing endorsement won out over my sulky petitions to be allowed to stay home, play basketball, and go to Norfolk Variety every week on Tuesday just before it opened so I could be there when the new comics got delivered. How in the world could going up to the hinterlands for the summer improve on that? So little did I know…”

“I was seventeen, living in Rhode Island”, said Leslie. “I needed a safe haven, something new and fun, just like the kids that go to Agassiz now”.

Leslie found Agassiz through researching the camp at her local library! Little did she know how greatly her life would change. Leslie knew Carlos when he worked at camp, everyone knew the Hoyts, but she didn’t get to meet him until they worked together as counselors.

In Carlos’ second summer, after serving as a member of the staff team, he met Leslie.

“I was a counselor in what then was called the Indian Section (now the Voyagers)”, said Carlos. “Because there were too many girl-identified kids for the Pioneer Section, Leslie was assigned to run a cabin of girl-identified kids in the all-boy-identified Indian Section. It was necessary, it was radical, it made for no end of hijinks and friendly competition, and the rest, as they say, is history”.

How will Agassiz be remembered as the place that brought you together?

“Agassiz shows what’s possible”, said the couple. “That many stars? Sunsets like these? This dining hall built by people using horse-drawn wagons? People who look nothing like me, living lives I’ve never conceived of now living with me in these woods, laughing with me, shaping me, embracing me, loving me?Agassiz brought us together in seeing that. Our camp friends have become life-long friends. And forty years later, we volunteer and give back to the camp what we can”.

Kevin & Caitlin

How did you and Caitlin meet?

“Caitlin and I met back in the summer of 2016 at Agassiz Village”, said Kevin. “Due to the nature of our positions that summer at camp, we were among a small group of staff who arrived one week earlier than everybody else. I knew I liked her straight away and, as the only two Irish staff present during that week, I had an easy conversation starter to use when I found myself alone with her in the staff cabin. The next part of the story is up for debate, I maintain that I was an extremely smooth talker and she fell for me right there and then, but Caitlin has a very different memory of what happened! In any case, fast forward almost five years and she’s still here beside me!”

Was it love at first sight?

“I believe so, yes! I think we both knew it could be something special from the beginning, but we didn’t let on to the other”, said Kevin. “I remember when we sat on the dock on the 4th of July and watched the fireworks across the lake. The sun was setting in the distance and Caitlin and I huddled together to stay warm. I knew right then what we had was for real. It was an unforgettable feeling that will stay with me”.

Tell us briefly how this meeting at Agassiz has impacted your life and your futures?

Agassiz has certainly left an indelible mark on both the lives of Kevin and Caitlin. They remain hopeful that new memories can be made there in the future. They owe all the happiness they’ve experienced over the last 5 years to Agassiz for forcing their paths to cross. They were also fortunate to meet incredible people from all parts of the globe who are now lifelong friends. Agassiz has shaped who they have become and showed them what they should value in life and for that, they will always be eternally grateful. With every cold and rainy day in Dublin, the two can’t help but wander back to those summer memories in the sun.

Ash & Libby

How did you and Libby meet?

Ash and Libby met at Agassiz Village in 2016. Ash was in his third summer at camp and was by the waterfront with some of the other staff members. Libby came down to the waterfront to introduce herself to everyone. Their first interaction was by the gate on the waterfront dock. Libby was struggling to open the gate and felt embarrassed, so Ash came along and helped her lift the latch.

“We introduced ourselves to each other and what our role was at camp”, said Ash. “I can’t speak for Libby, but I knew in that moment, she was going to be a special part of my life in one way or another”.

How will Agassiz be remembered as the place that brought you together?

Ash came back to camp in 2018 to volunteer for the last 3 weeks of camp, Libby had already been at camp for five weeks by then and was excited for Ash to return as she knew the impact he would have on camp.

“From the first few days of Ash’s return, we recognized that our feelings were no longer just as friends”, said Libby. “We took the leap to commit to a relationship. Agassiz will forever be the place we met, the place we fell in love and the place we both feel the best version of ourselves. If it weren’t for Agassiz, we would never have met and fallen in love. We will always have an attachment to the camp”.

What do you hope the future will bring for you and Libby?

Libby is pursuing her masters in School Counseling in the coming year and hopes to continue working with high schoolers to achieve their dreams of going to college.

“We are currently engaged and hope to be married in June 2021, however with COVID we might have to delay our plans for another year”, said Ash. “It is a difficult decision, but we both know it doesn’t matter where and when we get married, as long as it is to each other. We hope to run our own camp one day as husband and wife! We are camp people, we love the summer camp environment and we can see how much Agassiz has done for so many children. If we can replicate the amazing work Agassiz does and we continue to provide kids with an enriching summer for years to come, we will be happy!”

Hannah & Joe

How did you and your husband meet?

“Joe and I both worked at Agassiz Village in the summers of 1983 and 1984”, said Hannah. “Joe was a counselor in the Ranger section and I was a counselor in the Explorer section. We both worked on the waterfront where Joe was a rowboat instructor and I taught swimming lessons. Joe had come to Agassiz Village as an international counselor through the Camp America program. His childhood friend had worked at Agassiz Village in 1981 and encouraged Joe and two other friends to come to work at AV. In the summer of 1984, during the last session, we started casually dating”.

Hannah was heading off to college and Joe was heading back to London to work. They had no long-term plans for their casual dating relationship, except for Hannah possibly acquiring Joe’s DIY stonewashed Levi jean jacket. At the end of the summer, they parted ways, Hannah with the jean jacket in hand. A couple of weeks later, along with some other AV friends, Joe visited Hannah at college… and so began the couple’s lifetime together.

Was it love at first sight?

“No, but I might use another four letter word beginning with “L””, said Hannah. “Little did I know that Joe was a brunet and not a blond. His hair lightens in the summer, so a summer on the AV waterfront turned my handsome, brown-haired Scotsman into a blond and bronzed lifeguard. By the time I figured that out, I was hooked”.

How will Agassiz be remembered as the place that brought you together?

“Agassiz Village is very special to both of us for many reasons, including meeting each other”, said Hannah. “For both of us, in different ways, it literally changed the course of our lives”.

Joe was plumber working in London in 1983. At that time, he had a choice between going to America to work at a summer camp in Maine with his close childhood friends, airfare included, or taking a new more lucrative job working in Saudi Arabia. He chose AV and, as a result, the two met and have shared a lifetime together. Hannah started working at Agassiz Village as a fifteen-year-old counselor-in-training and she worked there until she graduated from college. It was her first job. The experience and skills she learned and the relationships that Hannah formed have been integral to every element of her life. Almost forty years later, the friends that Hannah and Joe met at AV are some of their closest and dearest. When they are with their Agassiz people, they are with family.

Tell us briefly how this meeting at Agassiz has impacted your life and your futures?

“Joe and I met over thirty-six years ago. We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary last summer”, said Hannah. “We are blessed with three wonderful children: Caila (21), Zuri (18) and Ciaran (15). Together we have made a beautiful life filled with family, friends, travel, professional success and opportunity. What underlies all of this are core beliefs that we might not have learned only at Agassiz, but certainly were emulated there and continue to guide us: work hard, play hard but always have fun. We care for each other, diversity matters, be a part of something bigger than yourself, and enjoy your friends. AV was a continuous growth experience. You learned that there is no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone. If you were willing to be uncomfortable, you would grow.

Camille & Nate

How did you and Nate meet?

“Nate and I first met as campers during my first summer at camp in 2007”, said Camille. “Nate had started attending Agassiz in 2001, after his two older brothers, Ty and Zach. At the time, I was nine and he was twelve so we didn’t really cross paths much. Actually, during those first few summers I thought that there were only two brothers, not realizing until later that Nate wasn’t his older brother Zach!

In the summer of 2014, Camille and Nate were both hired as cabin counsellors. On their first night back at camp, they were hanging out in the staff lounge with all of the staff. After a good amount of staring, Nate worked up the courage to ask if Camille had been to camp before. Little did they know, this interaction would lead to the rest of their lives.

Was it love at first site?

“After our first summer working together, we became really close friends”, said Camille. “We would hang out every other month. I would take the trip down from Maine to Massachusetts to hang out. Both of us were in denial of our feelings for a very long time, it actually took us until 2016 to share how we were actually feeling towards each other”.

How will Agassiz be remembered as the place that brought you together?

“Agassiz will be remembered as the place that brought us together because of all the memories that we have built at camp”, said Camille. “Once, we reconnected in 2014, it pushed us to reconnect with mutual friends we had from camp throughout the years. If it wasn’t for Agassiz, we would have never reconnected! Agassiz is a major part of both of our lives, we both still work there over the summers as well as we are both a part of the young professional board”.

Tell us briefly how this meeting at Agassiz has impacted your life and your futures?

Camille and Nate’s meeting at Agassiz has impacted their lives and futures for the better. They have gained an amazing family of friends. For both of them, Agassiz will always be a special place. Not only is it the place where they first met, but it also holds so many special memories for the couple.

Agassiz has always been a place of love and cherished memories. We look forward to watching love grow in our future and bringing kindred spirits like our lovely Agassiz couples together. Happy Valentine's Day! We love and appreciate you all!


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