With sisters growing up and now daughters of his own, Luke Landherr, a Yawgoog staff member from 1999-2003 —and then in 2005, when he was assistant camp director— remembers camp as not only a place where he could be with other boys, but a place where he could be in the past, present and future, seemingly all at the same time, during the nine weeks of summer.
“As a staffer, you know the history and legends of the place, then you are working there and meeting people and forming friendships while building on past friendships,” said Landherr. “And then you’re always kind of looking toward the future, like what job do you want in the future, where could you be in the next nine weeks? It’s a whole new level of awareness and experience,” Landherr said.
Landherr, who grew up in Southeastern Connecticut but now lives outside of Boston, is an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Northeastern University. He earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University in 2010. Landherr is also the creator of the webcomic, Surviving the World.
“Yawgoog gives you the opportunity to go into fields you wouldn’t get to experience any other way,” he said.
As a Tiger Cub to a staffer, Landherr feels fortunate to have kept his connections with camp for such a long time.
As a camper, he says, Yawgoog was full of wonder and awe. As a staffer, work took on a different element, Landherr said.
With a regular job, you go home at end of day, he said. “But at Yawgoog, you’re living and working and always with the same people at same time, forming bonds and relationships,” he said.
It was as a staff member that Landherr discovered that he loved teaching. And from a career standpoint, that changed his life.
“[Camp activities] allow you to have this insight that there is potential that this is something you can do,” as a profession, he said.
Landherr enjoys getting together with Yawgoog friends when he can, and is looking forward to introducing his girls, now 1 and 4, to camping. “It defines who you are,” he said of his days at Yawgoog.