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Jobs: Bruin Woods: Testimonials

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Bruin Woods has touched the lives of many students. Read on to learn about the experiences of the 2016 Bruin Woods student staff. This could be you!


Hannah Connery

3rd Year, Theater- Acting

When I applied to work as a Bruin Woods Counselor, I had no idea what Bruin Woods even was. Now, two years later, Bruin Woods has become a part of nearly every area of my life. I worked my first summer as the Kodiak Counselor (for fourth and fifth graders), followed by my second summer as the Bruin Counselor (for second and third graders). My schedule consisted of activities such as archery, boat rides, mafia, karaoke, arts and crafts, etc.; all the while I was given time to socialize with adult guests, allowing me to make connections with many of UCLA’s most notable alumni. Additionally, I even got to help write and direct the insanely fun shows put on by our entire staff each week. Yet on top of it all, my absolute favorite aspect of Bruin Woods is the ever-present air of positivity, inclusivity, and pure joy; never before have I been engulfed into a more uplifting environment. This vibrant sense of excitement seems to infect every single camper, adult, and staff member present at Bruin Woods, ultimately creating the happiest place I have ever been. The relationships I cultivated with the kids, parents, staff, and fifty-three other counselors (now some of my best friends) made my time at Bruin Woods completely invaluable. I even share an apartment with four other counselors back at UCLA! I still cannot believe that I get paid to do a job I’m so crazy about because I would do all of it for free in a heartbeat. Working at Bruin Woods positively impacted nearly every area of my life, and I am continuing to reap the benefits of it every day; I can’t wait to share my excitement with all future employees, so apply today to join the fun!

1701-alex-hammerAlex Hammer

3rd Year, Economics

Bruin Woods is truly the most amazing and magical place I have ever experienced! I do not think that there is any other place on earth filled with more joy, happiness, and exuberance and I don’t think that I will ever again be lucky enough to work somewhere as amazing as Bruin Woods. For the past two summers as counselor, I learned so much who I am and myself and will never forget the experiences I had, the connections I made, or the bonds I formed. I think the best part about working at Bruin Woods is the people there – the counselors, the parents and especially the kids I was a counselor for. The other 53 student staffers became my best friends and have remained so after summer has ended, and our bonds have only grown tighter. They are the most creative, outgoing, intelligent and hilarious people UCLA has to offer! As a Polars and Kodiaks Counselor, I had the privilege of working with rising sixth and seventh then fourth and fifth graders. It was incredible to spend my days this summer swimming, playing and laughing with these kids and I learned so much by spending my summer with them. It’s nearly impossible to achieve the same level of happiness you feel when you see ear-to-ear smiles on the kids as they play or as they come running up to you and ask you to hang out with them at meals or afterward. Bruin Woods truly is an extraordinary respite from our rigorous UCLA academic life as you spend your summer days with kids with boundless energy and no worries in life! I could go on for pages about the magic and wonder of Bruin Woods, but it is impossible to fully understand it without actually being a part of it, so apply as soon as you can!

1701-alex-grayAlex Gray

2nd Year, Psychology

People frequently talk about the “magic” of Bruin Woods. At first I thought this was a cheesy marketing term, but as soon as I stepped foot on camp I completely understood. There is simply no other word to describe the unforgettable experience that is Bruin Woods. Families count down the days until they get to come for an amazing week of hiking, fishing, music, games, archery and bruin spirit. As a staff member, you get to help make that magic happen all summer long. Last summer I worked in the Bear and Grill, the camp’s central hangout area and snack shack. I was able to spend time with incredible alumni and kids of all ages while also leading games, hikes and other activities. I made the most amazing friendships and memories that I know will last a lifetime. Bruin Woods is not only a summer job, not only an incredible networking opportunity, and not only a great way to get involved at UCLA. Bruin Woods is truly magic. Apply to be a student staffer today!

1701-savannah-krauseSavannah Krause

3rd Year, Communications

Having attended Bruin Woods as a camper for 14 years and now 2 summers as a counselor, I can honestly say Bruin Woods is truly THE happiest place on earth (sorry Disneyland). I began going to Bruin Woods as a camper when i was just five years old and quickly realized just how magical this place really is. On the last day of camp my brother and I would always begin counting down the days until we could come back to our favorite place. I already loved Bruin Woods because of all the memories I made as a camper, but I did not truly understand just how special and unique this place was until I became a counselor. Being apart of the student staff is unlike any experience you will ever have in college. Never before have I worked so hard, laughed so much and learned so much from the people around me. These 53 other staffers I have worked with are my best friends, but also people I look up to and make me a better counselor and person every single day. They have truly made my college experience what it is today. I’ve made so many memories these past two summers from getting apples from Lake Arrowhead’s underwater garden for amazed second and third graders as a boat driver my first summer to countless games of mafia and extreme dodge ball with teen campers as the Teen counselor my second summer. Being a Bruin Woods counselor truly is the best job in the world! Not only do you get to hang out with kids all day at the lake, pool or beautiful front lawn at Bruin Woods, but you also get the opportunity to meet successful UCLA alumni that love to network with student staffers! Becoming a Bruin Woods staffer was always my dream growing up as a camper and being one now truly does feel like a dream come true even now going into my third summer. I love this place more than anything in the world, but more importantly I love the friends and fellow staffers I get to share it with and who truly bring the magic of Bruin Woods alive! Apply now for the BEST summer of your life!

1701-jake-dvorskyJake Dvorsky

3rd Year, Theater

I’ll never forget the day I first got hired for Bruin Woods. I was speeding down the Pacific Coast Highway on my way to the beach when I got a phone call asking if I would accept the position of Cowboy for the 2016 summer staff. I remember thinking to myself, I, Jake Dvorsky, an art student born and raised in Los Angeles with approximately zero outdoor experience must be the LEAST qualified ‘Cowboy’ in the entire world. But with an open heart and mind I said yes, having no idea that getting hired for Bruin Woods would be the most important decision of my college career. Fast forward to twelve weeks of boat cruises, belly-flops, magical stories and rockin’ horseshoes and I was the craziest cowboy you’d ever seen. But working Bruin Woods taught me way more than just how to lasso and brand leather (though I did get awfully good!). Bruin Woods taught me how to live life to its absolute fullest. From making kids’ weeks, countless dodge ball games, wake boarding in your off time, and who could forget the endless curly fries, your time spent here will provide you with the stories you only dream of having when you’re a young kid. Not only do you get an all-inclusive access pass to one of the most beautiful places in the world, but you get to spend your time there with the people who will undoubtedly change your life and become your very best friends. I’m living proof! Undeniably, Bruin Woods has been the most exhilarating, defining, mind-blowing and out-of-this-world experience of my life, and in working at this beautiful establishment I have learned more about myself and my capabilities then in any other experience prior. It’s just magic. The kind of pure, unfiltered, awe-inspiring, colorful magic that makes life AWESOME. And it’s all here waiting for you to be a part of it!!!! So come on down and apply to Bruin Woods to discover the most amazing summer of your entire life. I promise, you’ll never regret it.

1701-gabby-seredGabby Sered

3rd Year, Political Science

Bruin Woods was one of the best decisions I have made in my college experience. I have made incredible friends, experienced amazing adventures, and spent an entire summer laughing, imagining, and creating. The best part of bruin woods was the friendships I have made. I truly can’t express in words the magic of Bruin woods— it is a magic of experiences, emotions and connections that last far longer than the fleeting days of summer. So, go ahead and apply and feel the magic for yourself! There is no better place to tap into your inner child, form new friendships and enjoy the simplicity of summer than through the wonder of Bruin Woods. From dancing on the stage, to playing in the lake, to adventuring with kids of all ages, Bruin Woods brought back that childhood wonder that college simply does not provide. My memories of Bruin Woods are filled with long, hot summer days and cool, starry nights. It’s just like Disneyland—only better. I worked as an Outdoor Activities Rover wherein I worked with kids of all ages teaching them how to climb rock walls, use the zip line, and participate in archery. Before joining bruin woods, I had never done any of these things and through this wonderful summer experience, I got to enjoy many new and exciting adventures. My favorite memory was watching the kids play on the front lawn in front of the main lodge. The authentic, pure joy and excitement of the campers and parents of all ages created a truly magical and happy experience. The friendships I have made through Bruin Woods are the strongest, most authentic connections I have ever made and I highly recommend applying as it is one of the best decisions I have ever made at UCLA. Come and experience the magic!!! Seriously, you won’t regret it.

1701-spencer-martinSpencer Martin

3rd Year, Musical Theater

Before my time at Bruin Woods, I never thought that one summer would change my life forever—I was happily proven wrong. Bruin Woods is an incredibly special place. I can honestly say that there is not a more joyful place on Earth (for parents, children, and counselors alike)! As a counselor, I was fortunate enough to see first hand the immense glee that every guest was filled with at the end of every day. This past summer, I had the joy of serving as both a Teen counselor and Teddy counselor. Working with young children reignited my sense of wonder; there is no matching the excitement of a Teddy going on a dinosaur egg hunt for the first time. The teens inspired me with their maturity and dedicated attitudes. The friendships formed among campers are some of the strongest imaginable. Beyond the insane beauty of Lake Arrowhead, Bruin Woods is so special because of its guests. Being able to meet so many unbelievable Bruin families was an absolute honor and privilege. Amazing folks from all walks of life make their way to Bruin Woods, and make every day by the lake brighter and better. There is not an experience I would ever trade for my time at the lodge by the lake.