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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 2017 Bruin Woods student staff. This could be you!


Alex Gray

Alex Gray

3rd Year, Psychology

I can clearly remember the moment I found out that I got the job to work at Bruin Woods. It’s funny to look back on now as I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew I would be working at a family summer camp. I knew my summer would be filled with hiking, archery, waterskiing and plenty of UCLA spirit. I knew that I would get to work closely with the other counselors and that I would get to meet a ton of cool UCLA alumni, but no one could have prepared me for the lifelong friendships and memories I would make. From belly flop contests and spontaneous dance parties to being tackled to the ground by a herd of five-year-olds… I cannot imagine a more fun or rewarding way to spend my summers. There really is a ‘magical’ quality about Bruin Woods. The positive energy and excitement in the air is almost palpable. The kids literally count down the days until they get to come to Bruin Woods and truth be told I do the same thing. Last year as a ‘Bruins’ counselor I led the group of second and third graders. My days consisted of boat rides, Moana sing alongs, gaga ball and countless 8-claps. I lived in a three story lodge on the shore of Lake Arrowhead with all of the other counselors and somehow I was even being paid to do all of this. I am now going into my third consecutive summer as a Bruin Woods counselor and could not be more stoked. I can honestly say that being a Bruin Woods counselor is the best thing I have done in all my time at UCLA. Apply today and join the family!


Rula Samad

Rula Samad

4th Year, Communication Studies

It’s hard to put into words what this past summer meant to me. I knew people who had worked Bruin Woods in the past and they ALL spoke about the “magic” of camp, however, coming in as a first year staffer, I didn’t really know what that meant. But, the minute that I stepped onto camp for the first time during training weekend and the moment that I met all of the wonderful people that I would be spending my summer with, it became so apparent. The adults that you meet, the kids that you spend every day with and the student staffers who become your best friends will all change your life for the better with every smile, laugh, bellyflop and coordinated dance. From the moment families walk through the Bruin Woods lodge for check in, to the moment that the leave, they exude nothing but happiness. This feeling of pure joy and the memories that they make here leave these families, and the staffers, counting down the days until they get to go back. As hard as it was for me to leave Bruin Woods behind at the end of the summer, knowing that I was going to get to go back for another 10 weeks made it so much easier. Bruin Woods truly is a magical place and I’m excited for the next batch of first year staffers to experience it for themselves! Apply to join the family!


Irvin Mason

Irvin Mason Jr.

2nd Year, Theater-Directing

When I first heard about Bruin Woods, I never thought that it would become such a special part of my life. When I got the call about being hired as one of the Bruin Counselors for the 2017 student staff, I didn’t know what to expect. By the last week of camp, I couldn’t really express how amazing my experience was. From going on boat cruises to find Dr. Chaos’ underwater garden, to hunting for Clancy Tom’s crazy Blue Jay Bandits, to finding Krabby Patties on Spongebob Island, and to making connections with the most adorable kids, I truly saw firsthand how magical Bruin Woods is and how important it is to everyone who has experienced its magic. I think one of my favorite memories of Bruin Woods was sharing my culture with each family every week at the student staff talent show. I was able to give everyone a taste of what it is like to grow up in the US Virgin Islands. The way how each and every family and staffer embraced me and my culture made me feel part of the Bruin Woods Family; a family I wouldn’t trade for anything else in the world. Since coming back to UCLA after my first summer, all I talk about is Bruin Woods! I truly have grown as a person from my time at Bruin Woods and also made 53 new best friends who I would have probably never met if it wasn’t for this experience. Since the past summer, anytime I get the opportunity to step foot on the Bruin Woods front Lawn, I literally cannot stop smiling at the joy and pure bliss Bruin Woods brings me. I absolutely cannot wait to go back and experience the magic all over again this summer, and I hope that you are interested in experiencing the magic with me as well.


Sean Tasse

Sean Tasse

3rd Year, Economics

Bruin Woods has singlehandedly changed my college experience. After working this past summer as a fishing guide, I can truly attest to the “magic” everyone walks away from this place talking about. I will never forget how lucky I felt to be working at such an amazing place, looking over the scenery of beautiful Lake Arrowhead. Whether it be captaining sunset cruises, playing games and dancing on the front lawn, or the numerous belly-flops, every day is filled with a joyous and rewarding experience. The memories and bonds I formed with 53 of the most hilarious, loving, and amazing people has given me friendships that will last a lifetime. One of my favorite things about Bruin Woods is the relationships you make with the UCLA alumni community and their kids. They count down the days until they get back to Bruin Woods to see us again and meet the new faces. Being a role model for them is a feeling like no other and is something I will forever cherish about this job. This place is so special to me and I know that if you want to have the best summer of your life apply to be a student staffer today!


Maddy Colli

Maddy Colli

4th Year, Sociology

Driving up to camp for the first time is an experience unlike any other. Twelve weeks, 53 new friends, hundreds of new families, all ahead of you, ready to form an unforgettable summer. Being a Bruin Woods staffer makes the overwhelming UCLA community small, and Lake Arrowhead a second home. My first summer I was a lifeguard, which allowed me to meet campers of all ages and converse with notable alumni. This past summer, as a returner, I had the most incredible job on the planet, a Teddy Counselor. I had 10 weeks of magic and happiness, where each morning was filled with 3 year old smiles and laughter over the simplest camp things. As a staffer, you live in an environment that is full of passion and energy, where your peers also have a goal to make camp amazing for all age groups. You should apply for Bruin Woods because in one summer you challenge yourself, expand your network, and immerse yourself in a positive community where everyone experiences the same magic as you and you never want to leave your home alongside the lake.


Megan LeighMegan Leigh

2nd Year, Economics

Bruin Woods has not only given me the best job I could have ever asked for along with a summer full of adventures, but it has also given me 53 best friends and a new place to call home. I remember when I was first hired as a staffer, bewildered by the fact that I would be able to hang-out with middle schoolers everyday as a Polar Counselor. From swimming in the lake and hikes on the mountain to games of dodgeball and capture the flag, I had the privilege of hanging out with these incredible kids all summer without it feeling even remotely like a job. They taught me so much about what it means to live in the moment and how to feel like a kid again, all through the limitless moments Bruin Woods fosters to have fun. On top of all the incredible perks of working at BW, the successful alumni are always eager to share their experiences and network with staffers, making for amazing opportunities to build relationships and meet unique and interesting people along the way. To top it all off, the Bruin Woods staffers are truly my best friends for life, all adding to the authentic happiness and positivity that’s felt everyone you go on camp. I know it seems almost impossible to have all of these radical things add up to just one extraordinary place, but just apply and see the magic for yourself!


Spencer MartinSpencer Martin

4th 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.