The daredevil on the motorbike you see above is none other than our future counselor Mikaere ("pronounced Mick-Eye-Dee, there are some rolled r's in there, but for simplicity that's the easiest way") Britton. Mikaere comes to us from the tippy top of New Zealand, a perfect balance to last year's counselor Ollie, who came from the country's southernmost city. While you can't tell from the photo, Mikaere says he's easy to spot in a crowd: he's 6'8" tall. "How's the weather up there?" is a joke he has heard before, in case you are tempted to try it. We think he stands out of a lot of other reasons, though, including his interesting past, mad off-road biking skills and great personality. Read more about him here!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the very far north of New Zealand, on a block of native forest. I was homeschooled for most of my pre-high school years and was able to travel the country often, as my parents' business running motorcycle tours meant that we were on the road a lot.
What do you do during the year?
I studied software engineering with the intention of making games, but I have veered off that path into marketing, and prior to starting camp have been the marketing manager for a company that imports and distributes car repair equipment.
Have you ever worked at a camp or with kids before?
I’ve never worked at a camp before, but have watched several friends go in recent years and have loved it. As for working with kids, as the youngest of three I grew up as the one who needed looking after, but since my first couple of high school years I’ve always volunteered to be a senior mentor of sorts to the younger students (I know how daunting high school as a first year can be!).
What were you like as a child? Did you attend camp yourself?
I think my answer and older sisters’ answers will be slightly different…. As a kid I was very curious and always active, with too much energy. I spent a lot of time reading, as I was fascinated with science and discovery. I went on a school camp or two before I was homeschooled but nothing like the setups you have in America!
What’s your favorite group game/activity/sport?
Coming from New Zealand and growing up in a rugby dominated culture, I have accepted it as my favourite team sport, but thanks to my parents business my real sporting passion is in off-road motorbiking.
What are your hobbies/what do you like to do during your free time?
When the weather is good enough I like to skateboard/longboard, and ride motorbikes. If it isn’t too cold, I like to go surfing. If it’s totally miserable, I enjoy playing guitar.
What advice can you give to campers about being away from home/being successful at camp?
Make friends! You aren’t the only one in an unfamiliar environment, there are plenty of others feeling nervous too. Introduce yourself and you might find yourself meeting a lifelong buddy.
Morning person or night person?
Night owl 100 percent. Hopeless in the morning, but I’m getting better as I get older and realize nobody is awake and nothing is open at 2 am.
What can campers do to get on your good side?
Good banter is always welcome, but I would never turn down a hot plate of nachos.
What do you hope to get out of your summer at camp?
A sense of achievement seeing kids succeed and enjoy themselves, to meet people from other corners of the world, and to have some great memories to share when I get home.