The January Alumni Spotlight features Oona Dicker- an amazing Chippewa alum! Oona, who is originally from Racine, had a wonderful camp career that included being a part of the First Waffle Club (possibly the creator). She was a spirited camper, made sure there was fun wherever she went and demonstrated a true appreciation for camp. She shared all of this with her campers once she became a counselor, and the entire CRC community benefited from Oona being at camp throughout her time at camp! We are proud to share a bit about Oona below- both her memories from her time at camp as well as some information about where she is now and what she is doing. A big thank-you to Oona for sharing with us!
1. What years were you at CRC?
2. Which summer was your favorite and why?
My CIT summer, which was 2003. It was the best of both worlds, camper and counselor. And i got to be co-counselors with my counselor Susan! It made it a lot less scary to be on staff with her by my side.
3. What is your favorite camp memory?
There are so many so here are a few of my favorite. When we went to North Star for a social and we got to see Peter Paul and PATTI (Mary was sick at the time) perform. It was so cool to hear them sing “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” Showering in the lake after the Tornado of ’99 and people hoarding Herbal Essences since it was the only kind we could use in the lake. Alyson’s white board for our lessons of the day in Trailriders, scraping my chin at the bottom of the lazy river at Noah’s Ark during our Lakeview trip, waking my campers every morning, even in Lakeview with a loud, “good morning” (LV ‘06!!), When a few of us went on a morning “run” and we found a rowboat and asked Tom to buy it for us, it was only $25. He did, but then we all got fiber glass in our butt from the seats when we took the boat out on Dam Lake. When we went to Country Flaire for breakfast at 6:30am before breakfast in the mess hall, taking the pontoon to Pitlik’s, Patti singing “Imagine” at the end of the summer and I bawled every time, and when I won start leg wrestling for my team Morocco!
4. What was your favorite activity at camp?
Water skiing! Yay 2nd period Chippy Bats!!, and as far as evening/big activities, I loved UN Day and Kahuna Day, Barnyard Bedlam, Tom Pease and i loved Rr Rogers and “Camp Chippewa is Good Enough for Me.”
5. Were you a Tan or a White?
Tan! I won Most Spirited Tan at Final Banquet three years in a row and was Chief Sachem! (we did not win Songfest and we did eat our watermelon after Pony Express)
6. How do you keep in touch with your camp friends?
Mostly by text or social media, but i get to see some of the girls.
7. Where do you live now?
Logan Square in Chicago!
8. What do you do?
Two years ago I decided to completely change careers and I started my own pottery business. I make lots of functional wares and you can find me at Oona Ceramics and on Instagram @oonaceramics. I’m also expanding and going to do tie dye pieces as well! My pottery and tie dye is definitely a reflection of myself (functional, yet quirky). Especially after the year we’ve had, its nice to look around your home and see pieces that you use everyday, but still make you smile because they are special.
9. What do you miss most about camp?
everything, but some specific stuff is free period after second period hanging with my age group on the swim docks, splitting hot dogs and hamburgers because we didn’t want another whole one and table chips with an entire plate of ketchup for dindial at BBQs, going to Cathy’s, never changing out of my bathing suit, shower parties in TR after second period, waking up and going to bed with my best friends, van rides on all the cabin trips, laying around with friends in counselor quarters. My parents used to call it the laughing, screaming, hugging camp because they thought that was all we did, and when I think about camp, i think about those moments and how happy were sitting in the south field or front lawn with my friends laughing, screaming and hugging
10. Is there anything else you want to share with your Chippy family?
camp is a special place where you are allowed to explore and try new things. Take advantage of that. You don’t have your parents or teachers around or societal pressure of what you should be doing. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be in the parents day show, but never have, just try it! Be inclusive and open minded and i promise you your summer will be even better. Camp gives you a real sense of self and independence and i remember going to college and it felt like my camp friends and i were way more prepared than anyone because we knew how to take care of ourselves, yet we felt comfortable relying on each other. The most important thing to remember, is that your worst day at camp is better than your best day at home, and chippewa is truly your home away from home. also, if there is something you can’t remember about camp, 9 out of 10 times ill remember, so reach out to me (some camp people used to call me the Chippewa Encyclopedia)!