We’re thrilled to welcome Peyton Yearick back to camp this summer! Last summer, Peyton served as camp nurse. This summer, he’ll be a boys’ counselor. Peyton is a pre-med student at Nashville’s Belmont University and has danced with the Nashville Ballet! He has lived in Spruce Pine since middle school, so he’s right at home at camp. We know that return campers will be excited that Peyton is also coming back. Peyton tells us a little more about himself below.
You have a long history with the van der Vorst family - how did you meet?
I lived in Nashville, Tennessee before moving to Spruce Pine in the sixth grade. I first met Anina back in seventh grade. We were placed into the same science class and paired together as science partners. From that moment, we became inseparable and would hangout almost every afternoon—going to the park to play or just staying inside being crafty. Anina is my best friend and from this friendship I became close to her family. They are the most caring, genuine, and loving people I have ever met and I am so grateful for their support and friendship.
Did you ever think that you’d work at camp one day?
No, I never imagined myself working at camp. I was an active child growing up, mostly due to involvement with the local community theater, Parkway Playhouse and dancing at Appalachian Dance Theatre. Because of those extra curricular activities, my summers were all booked up! As I grew older my primary focus was on dancing, which led me to becoming a part of the second company of Nashville Ballet. It wasn’t until I became interested in medicine and saw the importance of helping others that I viewed working at Camp Spring Creek a wonderful opportunity.
What were some of the highlights of your first summer at Camp Spring Creek?
Oh, where to begin? There were so many highlight moments of my time at Camp Spring Creek last summer. One moment that stands out the most was going whitewater rafting. It was my first time rafting with the Nantahala Outdoor Center and being on the Nolichucky River. I was so excited to tackle the rapids with the help of the campers. I can’t wait to head back and experience all the fun I had again. Also, I can’t forget to mention the moment I saw the camper’s writing samples from their first day compared to their last. It was completely amazing and inspiring to see the overall improvement academically; all while enjoying the extra activities of camp life.
What surprised most about the campers?
The campers who come to Camp Spring Creek are without a doubt brilliant, talented, and kind. It is so special to watch them continue their growth socially and academically during their time here. It is always sad to say goodbye, but knowing that you were a part of their journey is something to hold close to your heart.
What are you looking forward to in your new role as counselor this year?
I’m looking forward to building new friendships with the staff, counselors, and campers. This will be my first time as a camp counselor and I am trilled for the opportunity. I can’t wait to become a lifeguard and lead some of the outdoor activities. My favorites are dodgeball and paintball.
You’re a local. Give campers and counselors some insider tips on some of the best things to do near camp in the summer!
Some of my favorite things to do while I’m home is to hike the Roan Mountain with Anina and travel to Asheville, North Carolina to enjoy a little bit of the city life. I am thankful to live in such a beautiful scenic area. There are many trails to hike and explore. One of my favorite places to go is in Boone, North Carolina: Rough Ridge. It’s a beautiful hike that offers a gorgeous overlook onto the surrounding mountains.
What advice can you give to campers coming to Camp Spring Creek for the first time?
My main advice would be to not be afraid to be yourself! Camp is going to be so much fun and I promise you are going to make so many new friends; some will even turn into life long friendships. Cherish each and every moment and never be afraid to ask for help from one of the staff members.
Finish this sentence: On skit night, Peyton can probably be found…
On skit night, Peyton can probably be found laughing at all the creative and hilarious skits that the campers came up with. Last summer, we had so many talented campers! It’s going be fun watching all the creative skits this summer.
What should campers do to get on your good side?
You are guaranteed to be on my good side if you are simply enjoying each and every -day. Seeing you enjoy camp and having fun with your friends puts the biggest smile on my face.