Words: Amanda Hankison
Typically, employees of High Cascade and Windells are pigeon-holed into the category of nomadic snowboard bums that make the annual pilgrimage to the forests of Oregon in search of sunny boarding, Hamms, and afternoons at the lake. The management side of things is often overlooked and the spotlight tends to shine on what the Diggers are up to, one-footed rodeos, and comment board call-outs about parents bankrolling their spoiled brat’s trip to camp. The Camp Directors, however, are one of the most integral parts of running the whole shebang. They sacrifice the easy going summer that most other employees enjoy to make sure everyone from campers to sponsors are more than stoked on their camp experience. There has been a lot of rearranging going on and this summer, as both High Cascade and Windells have new directors. Meet Marsha Hovey, who will be heading up Windells and HCSC’s Joe Rizzo.
Where are you from?
Marsha: I am Brewster, NY. Not quite the city, not quite upstate.Â
Joe: I was born and raised in Montana. Currently reside in Salt Lake City, UT during the winter.
How did you get into snowboarding?
Marsha: I started skiing at age 6 then made the switchover when I was 13. I’m glad I was such a follower because snowboarding is pretty darn fun.
Joe: Skateboarding introduced me to snowboarding. I started skating one summer in elementary school and began to learn about snowboarding. I then proceeded to lie to my folks, telling them IÂ had borrowed a bud’s board the previous winter and dug it more than skiing.Â They fell for it… been going sideways ever since.
What did you do last winter?
Marsha: I decided to take a break from the Oregon rainforest for the season and drove out to Stratton, Vermont for work…where it rained all winter. I think by the start of March we had 38″ of snowfall.Â Mother Nature is a real jerk.Â
Joe: In the winter, I work for Four Horsemen Sales as a Hardgoods Rep. I traveled, hung out in snowboard shops, searched for snow, and then went skateboarding. Â Â
Favorite thing to do outside of snowboarding?
Marsha: Well I really enjoy jocking out and playing a good game of soccer. Although breaking out the paints and pens for art time is a close second.
Joe: I enjoy skateboarding, riding bikes in the city, and going on adventures with our yellow lab, Sam.Â
Can you give me a Camp Director job description?
Marsha: Man, that’s a tough one. There’s always so much going on, sometimes I need a clone. I am one of the people behind the scenes prepping for the giant show. It’s like the biggest event you’ve ever planned but it lasts two months long. Throw in a couple hundred parents, a hefty list of sponsors, a social media fiasco, a generous helping of pro athletes, a few thousand campers, and you got yourself a summer. All of a sudden your self cleaning laundry pile is on its last leg and August shows up. It’s exhausting but hey, you sleep when you’re dead
Joe: Work along side HCSC Executive Director / Co-Owner Kevin English, who has been with camp since ’99, HCSC managers, and the rest of HCSC staff to be Authorized Awesome!Â
What do you think prepared you most for this position?
Marsha: Working at camp is kind of like MTV’s Diary series circa the early 2000s. You think you know, but you have no idea. I would like to say my years working in the resort industry and running my University’s ski and snowboard club prepared me, but that’s just not the case. The only thing that gets you ready for camp, is spending time at camp. That first day of organized chaos is key. Almost getting run over in the skate park while rushing up to Zombie Dodgeball with armfuls of swag to throw at camper’s faces will get you living the summer camp life pretty quick. Every session reminds me why I work in this industry.Â
Joe: Well rounded experience in the snowboard / skateboard industry while working with youth boarding programs. Working for local skate / snowboard shops, the Burton CHiLL Program, SLCÂ After School Skateboard Program, and now as a snowboard rep has prepared me for this role.Â
Top 3 things you’re excited for about this summer?
Marsha: Ok here it goes:
1) Being back in Oregon! Once that magical day of endless sunshine shows up, it’s nothing but smiles. We all pack up our cars and head to this place in search of great adventures with great friends.
2) Riding my new (old) pink Huffy Echelon to camp everyday. Gotta keep up the fitness.
3) Excessive hydration and sunscreen application on hill. As a ginger, this is tedious, however it is also the official sign that summer is here.
1) Camper Arrival Days when kids show up from all over the country.
2) Sunny days making turns up on the glacier and afternoon activities hanging out with campers.
3) Cobra dogs, Pizza Party, and Volcano Cones. Mmmm delicious!Â
Marsha: As soon as the sessions are done, we all disconnect and cut ourselves off for a minute. Into the forest we go. It’s the perfect way to recharge and get ready for another session. I could spend a good chunk of my life in these woods.Â Oregon is amazing.
Joe: I always did feel bad for that Manimal. He never could find his way in the shred word. Check this for the full story.Â
Any advice to kids who aspire to do what you do?
Marsha: This industry is all about who you know and how hard you are willing to work. So get out there and do more! Create a blog for yourself, pick up a camera, go to events, get an internship, find a mentor, and love what you do. There is a fine, almost invisible line, between work and life in this community. Surround yourself with people you admire and you will never spend a day at “work.” I am so lucky to work with such a great crew and I still have tons to learn. My words of wisdom: be positive and don’t be lazy!Â
Joe: Find the balance between working hard and having fun. Build relationships.
Marsha: I’ve never done a proper shout out. I think it goes something like this: Ok ok check it, I would like to say what’s good to all my Windells homies, burr burr. Big ups to the crew on the east coast holding it down for Ice Coast Kills (Sh)it, and all the good friends spread across “Merika. Thanks to my cats at home for providing great Instagram material. And most of all cheers to another summer. It’s going to be great.Â
Joe: Thanks to Preston Strout, Adam Kisiel, HCSC owners, managers, current, and previous staff for making HCSC Awesome! 100% Snowboarding.