Patiently waiting in line behind a buildup of students who want to change classes, grab a quick interview or earn some Chad Change, Everett High School’s senior Meeshon Rogers and 2013 graduate Jaimie Bozack are in a constant attempt to get some one-on-one time with camp director Chad Sanders.
Because to them, he is much more than just a camp director.
During the week, Sanders is the active camp director and responsible for overseeing its smooth and efficient operation. But outside of his daily director duties, he also works year-round as the adviser for Everett High School’s newspaper The Voice.
“[Being director and an adviser] is a plus and a minus,” Sanders said. “As a director, I get to talk to kids from all over. And by talking to them and interacting with them, I get to become a better adviser. I get to see all of their great ideas and all those kids inspire me. But the negative is that I’m pretty busy; I don’t have that down time when kids are out and about.”
During the recreation and meal times, many students take the time to meet up with their staffs to talk about what they are learning during class. But Bozack and Rogers spend their time trying to track down their adviser.
“We never see him, and when we do, he’s always busy,” Rogers said. “So we’ll sit around and wait in line for people to finish talking to him or find some way to corner him to talk to us. People will have some super important question to ask him, and we’ll just want to talk about guinea pigs.”
“Sometimes we feel like we’re stalking him or annoying him when he’s busy,” Bozack adds. “But we just think of him as a friend and we like to talk.”
Struggling to find time for the three of them to relax as a staff, Rogers and Bozack scheduled themselves in for one of Chad’s normal publication consultations.
“I wrote on the sheet that I needed ‘serious advice,’” Bozack said. “But really, we just wanted to chill. We’ve talked about newspaper like two times since we’ve been here. Usually it’s just random conversations.”
While Chad and his staff’s conversations have often been off-topic, he still encourages his students to use the resources available to them to continue to improve their own work and gain more ideas for the future.
“Rather than meet and get feedback with me, I want them to be able to meet with the other coaches and to get a different perspective and to get some new ideas for the paper,” Sanders said. “They can get my advice anyday.”
And although many students at camp only saw their adviser on adviser day or have to wait until school starts, the two still want to communicate with Sanders despite his double duty.
“Most kids don’t have this weird pull where their adviser is right there but they still can’t talk to them,” Sanders said. “I’ll see them excited and that they want to talk, but then I’ve got the office sending me a text or a line of students, and that’s disappointing for them.”
Despite the struggles, the two have still managed to squeeze into his schedule.
“We’re basically stalking him,” Bozack and Rogers laughed. “We’re like a gazelle and a cheetah with the amount of creeping we do. We just text him or tweet him or just wait around til he’s not busy. One of the MIPA staff called it ‘reporting.’ But it’s not. It’s stalking.”