Learning to Lead: Cody’s Story

By: Jenn Myers

Posted: 4.26.21

While at Cho-Yeh, Summer Staff don’t just lead campers — they become leaders. Cody Ford first came to Cho-Yeh when he was entering third grade, and he hasn’t missed a summer since then. He has served in several positions on Summer Staff, including work crew, counselor, kitchen crew, and rec staff.

In his time on rec staff, Cody has had some special opportunities to inspire campers to try new things and overcome fears. One time last summer, he met a camper who was extremely nervous about trying the QuickJump for the first time. Soon, her fear turned into courage, and her courage into joy.

“After walking the camper through everything and reassuring her, she finally took the leap of faith. She had a look of pure joy on her face when she hit the ground. Less than 30 seconds later, she was back in line waiting to jump again.”

This summer, Cody is returning to Cho-Yeh as the assistant to the recreation manager. In this role, Cody will lead other recreation staff and guide campers in creating special memories at Lighthouse Point, on the zipline, and doing all of the other fun activities at Camp. Cody is excited to continue developing his leadership skills and encouraging other staff and campers.

“I’m really pumped to work with an awesome staff who want to give campers the best experience at all of camp’s activities! All the hard work pays off when we see the beaming smiles across campers’ faces and hear the stories they’re telling their parents on Closing Day.”

When he’s not at Camp, Cody spends most of his time at Messiah University in Pennsylvania, where he studies Politics & International Relations and Finance. After he graduates next year, he will start law school at Northwestern University. Cody has not just become an impactful leader at Camp, but also at Messiah and in other areas of life.

“Outside of academics I’m heavily involved in Student Government, serving as Student Body Vice President. My time at Camp Cho-Yeh has most definitely prepared me for these pursuits by equipping me with a multitude of different skills and professional development opportunities.”

Serving on Summer Staff at Cho-Yeh is an awesome opportunity to have outdoor adventures and build meaningful relationships. At the same time, staff also develop new leadership abilities that they can use to inspire others in their education, careers, and beyond.