Grains of Sandy, January-February 2018



Sandy Island Gremlins Become Staff Members

Did you know that there were Gremlins at Sandy Island?  No, our camp has not been visited by mythological creatures; “Gremlins” is the affectionate term for the children of Sandy staff members.  Some of these kids spend years at Sandy, seeing the camp from a staff perspective, and learning about Sandy traditions first-hand.  What happens to Sandy Gremlins when they grow up?  If we are lucky, they return to Sandy Island as staff members!
Anya Archer described the role of Sandy’s Gremlins, and what they bring to the staff experience.  “We officially call these kids ‘Junior Volunteers’ and their parents tell us which Gremlin is ready to do chores at camp and how many hours their child can spend on these jobs.  Their chores might include assisting in the Little Red Schoolhouse, helping out with field games, setting tables in the Dining Hall, or doing small tasks in the Office.  They frequently receive tickets for completed jobs, tickets which can be redeemed in the camp store.  Gremlins who later join our staff bring a lot to our community!  Since they have grown up at camp, they are very familiar with all aspects of camp life. They understand the expectations of working at camp, and make wonderful employees!  During their first year of employment, they work half-time in the kitchen and half-time in a job of their choice.  Sometimes they work in several departments, giving them experience in all areas.  This is hugely helpful to us as our best staff members are flexible and willing and able to fill in anywhere as needed.”
 In 2017 we were lucky to have a significant number of staff members who were formerly Gremlins, and we appreciated the experience, talent, and enthusiasm they brought to their jobs.   Let us tell you about them!

Kyle Fieleke

Kyle’s first summer as a Sandy Gremlin was 2007.  In 2017, he worked in the kitchen but also worked on Service Crew on Saturdays and for the Program Crew running dances and for a few weeks with the CAVE program.  He was nominated for the Patterson Award in 2017.  Kyle gives a wonderful summary of his Sandy Island experience and his comment explains why former Gremlins make such amazing staffers.  He says, “My story is simple.  I grew up spending all of my summers there, and I fell in love with the beauty, the traditions, and the community.”
Kyle & a special birthday Cake
Kyle in 2017

Charlie Goodrich

Charlie began his days as a Gremlin the summer of 2012, when he helped out by shucking the corn for cookout day and snapping beans.  2017 was his first summer being on staff, working in the Kitchen and on Program.  His favorite Program activity to help with was Capture the Flag.
Charlie (right) with Cole and Aaron
Charlie in his water carnival costume, 2012

Dory Goodrich

Dory’s first summer as a Sandy Island Gremlin was in 2012 when she helped with Toddler Time and babysat for the younger Gremlins.  She joined
Dory with older sister Cayla Liptak, 2017
the Sandy staff in 2014 and in summer of 2017 she worked Program staff.
Dory (on far right) with Cara Muthig, Sara Belanger and Michaela Reed during Toddler Time, 2012

Jordan Mongell

Jordan told her own story:  “In summer  2017 I worked in the Craft Shop.  I was first a gremlin in 2013.  The transition from Gremlin to staff was really smooth and felt natural.  I already knew staff members and it was easy to make friends and feel at home on the island. While my family did not work a full summer my first year on staff, I felt like I had my Sandy Family as soon as I stepped off the boat in June. Sandy will always be home for me and I couldn’t imagine a summer not being here.”  Jordan won the Junior Volunteer Award in 2015.
Jordan in 2017
Jordan and her mom

Asa Muthig

Asa started his life as a Gremlin 13 years ago, helping Christine to snap peas for her famous Chicken Alfredo dinner and helping to deliver mail to and from the mailboat.  He started on staff in 2014, working half-time on the Service Crew and half-time with the Kitchen Crew, and he worked on Service full-time in 2015-2016.
In summer 2017 Asa worked as a lifeguard and was part of the amazing Sandy Island Dance Team.  Asa and Jack taught dance steps at the Sandy Dances, a job they carried out with such great spirit that one camper commented on the annual survey, “These kids were awesome teachers!  They had the steps down cold.  They gave clear instructions and they danced with so much good humor and enthusiasm that they energized the rest of us.  These were the best dances we’ve had in a long time!”  Asa was nominated for the Patterson Award  in 2017.
Asa, the lifeguard, 2017
Asa as a gremlin, 2004

Cole Reid

Cole started as a Gremlin at Sandy Island in 2010 and he volunteered doing other Gremlin jobs every summer after that. Summer 2017 was Cole’s first year on staff and he worked in the Program Department. Cole’s clever quips and sports jokes inspired some high-volume audience participation during the Bingo games.
Cole with Aaron & Charlie, 2017
Cole, on the left, with friends Charlie & Asa

Aaron Waitekus

Aaron became a Sandy Island Gremlin in 2007, assisting with linens and other camp chores.  He joined the staff in 2014, but worked part time as he was playing on a championship volleyball team.  He started working full time on the Program Staff in 2017, helping with teens, juniors and CAVE.  Aaron also helped lead games like Capture the Flag and Bingo, and set up the Chapel for Sunday services.
Aaron with Cole & Charlie, 2017
Aaron & Jack with Danny Carter (center), 2007

Jack Waitekus

Jack began his chores as a Gremlin in 2007, handing out linens and picking up around camp.  He volunteered as an apprentice to Harry Stilphen on Service Crew 2009 and continued as a Gremlin/Volunteer until 2014, when he became a staff member, working with the Service Crew.  In 2017 Jack became a member of the Program Department, working with Cave or Junior campers in the mornings, as well as working campfire, Water Carnival and more.   Jack worked with Asa teaching at the Saturday and Tuesday night dances, a job they carried out with skill, humor, and great enthusiasm.    Jack was nominated for the Caswell award in 2017.
Asa & Jack at a Sandy Dance, 2017
Jack Waitekus with Harry Stilphin, 2009

Sydney Waitekus

Sydney began her career as a Sandy Island Gremlin handing out linens and taking the mail to the mailboat in 2010.  She has been babysitting for staff as well as campers for a few years as well as helping out in the Little Red School House, Toddler Time, etc.  In 2017, Sydney helped in the Little Red School House every day.  She also helped with Name That Tune, Water Carnival and Bingo.  Sydney was a volunteer last summer and, technically, was still a Gremlin.  She proved so valuable and dependable that Sandy managers named her “Gremlin of the Year.”
Sydney with fellow gremlin Greysen
Sydney in 2007, her first year as a gremlin

Were you a Sandy Island Gremlin??

We would love to hear stories/see photos from past Sandy Island Gremlins! Email me at to share you story with us!

2018 Summer Employment Opportunities

Looking for something awesome to do this summer?  Ever dreamed about being on the staff at Sandy Island?  Is working at Sandy Island on your bucket list?  If you would like to have the most wonderful summer ever, I would love to talk to you about joining the staff of Sandy Island.  You will have the most incredible workplace imaginable, and make friends for life.  We work hard, but we have lots of fun, too.
CLICK HERE to apply for open positions today!
You must be 16 to work at Sandy, and first priority will be given to those available for the full summer, June 22-September 3.  We are also looking for staff to work for the month of August through Labor Day only.  We are hiring lifeguards, kitchen and dining hall helpers, craft shop assistants, service crew, program staff, and a tennis pro.  Please share this link with anyone you might know who would enjoy having the best summer job ever!
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions:
Anya Archer
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