Chandler Ray

Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Associate

Years as a Camper: 7

Years as a staff member/position held: 5 years, 3 in the Rangers and 2 on Ad-Staff

Current Porfession and Title/years in role: Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate and I have been working as a licensed therapist for three years, and working in mental health for five years.

Provide a brief overview of your job responsibilities. 

I provide mental health counseling for kids, teens, and young adults. I utilize traditional therapy in addition to experiential therapies including adventure and expressive arts therapy, animal assisted therapies with my dog Dakota (I was previously doing equine therapy), and now am focusing on providing attachment based therapies to child and adolescents who have experienced trauma.

Do you have any career advice for members of our camp community?

Find a balance in what you do for work and try to bring in your personal passions into that space so you can uniquely and congruently be yourself.

What do you believe have been some of your greatest personal and professional accomplishments…is there a goal toward which you are currently working? 

My greatest professional accomplishment is completing Graduate school on time while also working and completing internship hours at the Veterans Administration during the early Covid days. And my next accomplishment/goal is completing my provisional licensure and supervision to be a fully licensed therapist.

How do the values or skills you learn at camp show up in your everyday work and or personal life?

In working with kids, I have so many life lessons from Kanata that have allowed me to bring in that playful and attuned care to my clients. But overall, I would say that Kanata allowed me to focus on the relationship I have with others rather than simply focusing on the task at hand; once you have a strong connection with others you can accomplish so many incredible things together.

Is there a person or a situation that had a huge influence on you while you were at camp how and why did they/it impact you. 

I loved working the high ropes course/Alpine tower. That work helped guide me back into the residential world where I previously served as an experiential therapist. While in that role I was able to take clients out into nature, onto challenge courses, out to the rivers and mountains, and allow the challenges of adventure and nature to also provide a therapeutic space. But watching a camper who is nervous of heights, slowly push themselves higher and higher on the alpine tower and ultimately reach a goal they thought was impossible was such an incredible experience, and I continue to bring those similar experiences into my clinical work with children and young adults.

What advice would you give your younger self? 

Hold on to cathartic moments of happiness, they will guide you on your journey. Keep chasing those little moments.

Favorite camp meal: Fried Mac and Cheese

Favorite dining hall or flagpole song: Funky Chicken

All time favorite skit memory: Harry Huntley during the Hollyball pageant circa 2011

Favorite evening programming at camp: camp wide capture the flag

Devotion you best remember from camp: starfish on the beach

If you had to have an intro song every time you walked into a room what would it be: Welcome to the Jungle (thanks to block stacking for burning that into my brain)

Do you have a hidden talent: I can clap with one hand

What three words best describe you: Playful, Joyful, Steady

What profession other than your own would you like to try: I miss working with my hands and would love to be an artist or architect.

What would you eat if you could only have one food for the rest of your life: those mac and cheese triangles, but I would imagine that wouldn’t be a very long life only eating those.

Chandler Ray