Why a Blog?

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Views from the camp waterfront

My former job experience

Since I was 13, every summer for me has been about Girl Scout camp. I started there as a camper and began working at 16. While my high school friends were chilling by the pool and babysitting, I was rounding children up for count off, starting fires that would feed forty and hand washing the camp’s pots and pans. And I loved it! I had a great friend group and felt rewarded for even the most menial task, because I believed that it helped the wheel of camp keep turning.

As I got older, my job shifted to leading girls and young adult counselors. Sometimes, it would be so stressful, and other times you felt like a superhero. Camp has a very good way of swinging your emotions hour by hour.

When I graduated from MICA (an art school located in Baltimore, MD), my top priority was getting a “real” job. It was understandable that I felt like there was room to grow on my job experiences when I had been working somewhere since I was 16. I had dabbled in the non profit world with a couple of internships I had done. My dream job then, was to get a non profit job that utilized my arts background.

As job searches usually goes, things started getting desperate and boring. One of my top goals upon graduating was to not move back home, so I was in a bit of a time crunch to find a job before I ran out of my savings. My good friend who I had worked with at camp suggested I put my resume in for a job with the Girl Scouts where she was currently working. All the pieces fell into place by August. I had successfully moved, started working at the Girl Scouts and was able to work at camp for a few weeks that served as closure.

 Two years later!

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Still killing it with my old counselor

I am still at the Girl Scouts, though my position has shifted. I now handle customer engagement and data base management. Another one of top goals when I graduated college was to go back to school and get my MSW. The long term goal is to be a social worker who utilizes art therapy in their work.

I decided to take a year and just work! I’m always thinking about what’s next, I wanted to see what it is like to just relax. It was a pretty great year but I still had the yearning to do more.

I applied to grad schools last fall, and was pleasantly surprised to be accepted everywhere. I chose University of Maryland Baltimore because its a top social work school with a sweet in state tuition price tag!

Just as cool as getting into school, my current employment is okay with me going part time in the fall! I really lucked out with having an understanding and supportive boss.

So Why A Blog?

Immediately after I figured out my school situation, I was stressed. Going to school full time and working part time isn’t really recommended by most, but I also don’t like going broke and taking loans out to pay for food. I decided I needed a month of no work.

And what better thing to do during this month, then hike the Appalachian trail? I had hiked it as a camper for three days, once with my boyfriend for two days, and once with my friend Jess for five days. The first two times were in New Jersey and the last was in the Shenandoah.

To take this month off, I needed to request unpaid leave and to do this I had to write a letter for HR and my CEO, seen below.

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If you want to really dissect it, heres the pdf: Marisa Quin Unpaid Leave Request

Below is my smoking gun quote that I am uber proud about and wraps up why this blog.

“Girl Scouts itself is an organization that pushed girls the idea that the out of doors and new experiences can help girls and women grow as leaders. Before I embark on going back to school for a program (and career) that heavily relies on confidence, courage, and character, like a Girl Scout going to camp I would like to find this outside.”

So yeah!

I have decided to hike 113 miles in order to gain some leadership, perspective, and most importantly, confidence. This blog will suffice as written journal of the before, during, and after of this trip, and maybe even other trips afterwards.


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