We’re lucky to have an unsung army of helpers that keep Chewonki running through the busy summer season: the mighty FSS (Facilities Support Staff). You might have spied them busy at their labors, laundry, cleaning, dish duty, painting, and supporting the year-round facilities team in countless other maintenance tasks. Behind this army is the undisputed “queen of clean”, Carol James.
It might be that growing up in a family of 12 children developed her mob-management skills. Or maybe, after raising three children of her own, she’s simply a good mother hen. Whatever the reason, James, head of housekeeping, has an obvious knack for overseeing the young facility support staff who help keep Camp Chewonki rolling.
Some of these local teens have worked with James for multiple summers, and wow, do they know their way around. Newbies often need her training in the idiosyncratic workings of Chewonki. This year, James notes, she was lucky to have a couple of new staff arrive already savvy and responsible.
“I have a fantastic team of 17 right now,” says James, who grew up in Cork, Ireland, but landed in Wiscasset after marrying an American. “I love their spirit. They’re smart. They work really hard. They’re funny. They have a great attitude. I’ll miss them!”
During a break this morning, most of the facility support staff sit around a table with James in the Wallace dining hall, munching cinnamon buns to celebrate team member Asa Hodgdon’s 18th birthday. Later in August, soon after Camp Chewonki ends, they will return to school, sports, friends, and family. We all will miss them and their helping hands.
Thank you to Carol James and her facility support staff for everything they have done for Chewonki this summer. Go, team!