Cameron Jackowiak

Major: Recreation and Outdoor Education

Minor: Business Administration

Hometown: Westminster, Colorado

My journey to Western was a bit prolonged as I transferred here after three years at another Colorado University.  When I first started to look at colleges I mainly stuck to those close to home which did not include Western at the time, however, I did have an aunt that told me that I should check it out because it was very much in line with my lifestyle.  I spent three years trudging through general classes and the low level classes for my major before it really hit me that I was not only not enjoying my time in college but I was not learning anything new from my classes.  After this I started to look around at different colleges and universities in Colorado and one that kept popping up time and time again was Western.  After a while I finally decided to come take a tour and see what the University and area had to offer.  When I started out on my trip here I was a little stressed with dealing with the transfer and trying to find someplace that I could be close to the outdoors and be able to hike and camp while going to classes every now and then.  As I was driving through the mountains to get here from the Front Range all of that started to melt away and when I did arrive on campus and interacted with a few people in town and on campus I knew that this is where I wanted to finish my schooling.  Between the knowledgeable faculty and being in the mountains rather than the three hour drive I was used to I could find nothing wrong with the school.  Between the fresh air and ability to ski, hike, fish, and just about any outdoor activity that I have ever been interested in is right outside on my door step.

After I graduate I am going to be a Camp Director for a Boy Scout Camp in the middle of Nebraska where I spent most of my time growing up.  I started working at this camp when I was 14 years old and started as a volunteer working wherever they needed me.  As the years went on I worked all over the camp with a main focus in Scoutcraft which is where we taught many of the outdoor basics including knot tying, cooking, basic wilderness survival, orienteering and many more useful skills.  After many years working on camp I took over as the Program Director which I was then in charge of training our staff and making sure that the camp was offering a quality program.  After this last summer I was offered the chance to really make a difference by taking the Camp Director job which I am now applying many of the useful skills that I have learned through the Western Recreation Department and applying them to a real life situation and a camp that I will be overseeing this summer.  When I look even further into the future I hope to someday own my own company or to be able to work my way up in a resort type setting.

For my capstone project I am working with one other Recreation major to put on a day camp for a middle school age group.  For this we are hoping to have the kids in groups of about eight to ten and have each group snowshoe into an area and then we are going to teach them all sorts of outdoor skills.  These will include Leave No Trace, backcountry cooking, basic map and compass skills, and many other outdoor skills that any person with an interest in camping and hiking will find useful throughout their life.