Get to Know Her: Sara Oliver

This spring we’re getting the chance to sit down with some of your favorite camp people, and learn a little more about how they got here and why they love this place. We’ve gotten to know Peggy and David Vining so far, and today we have such a treat: an interview with Sara Oliver!

Pretty much everyone we know wants to be just like Sara when they grow up, and it’s easy to see why! No one works harder, laughs more, or doles out more wisdom than this Kentucky gal. During the summer you can find her heading up Waterpark, leading the Lake Road Runners, or playing a mean game of Pit. So get cozy, scroll on, and spend a little time with Sara today - you’ll be glad you did!

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How did you learn about Greystone?

In the early 70s I lived with my parents in Travelers Rest which is only about 30 minutes from Greystone. One summer my parents answered an ad from Greystone looking for summertime staff. Because my parents were in graduate school their summer was free so they packed my sister and me up and went to camp.

This started a 30 year friendship between my parents, Libby and Jimdaddy. When my parents moved from SC to KY they continued a relationship with Greystone and my sister and I became campers. I was a camper from 1978-1988 and I have worked on staff now for over 20 years. Like my parents I came to Greystone with my children for many years which is a cherished memory.

What does your role at camp look like now?

My role at camp has evolved over the years. I love to think of myself not as a “summer mother” but instead a “favorite aunt”!

I’m part of a group of women who have come to Greystone for years together. We have a broad perspective of life and with that comes a generous sense of humor, patience, humility and faith. We love being part of the background at camp, helping things run smoothly and saying YES to everything. I especially enjoy working with Program Staff throughout the summer building solid faith filled relationships.

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What do you enjoy about heading up Waterpark?

The best part of working at WP is direct contact with campers and having a chance to get to know them well. At Waterpark I talk a lot about the fact that we encourage fun and teach confidence. I love theme days at WP and changing up the expected with creative water challenges. My biggest smile comes when a camper faces a fear and beats it!

Where do you live during the year and what does your life look like when you’re not at camp?

During the year I live in Louisville, KY and I am a Kindergarten Assistant. We JUST started school back and I am wild excited to have in person students. I am a volunteer at Ronald McDonald House and am active in my church which keeps me a good kind of busy.

Do you have a favorite or special camp memory that sticks out?

A favorite camp memory is surprise ice cream Sundays served from a gutter, Wow wow wow, we loved that! Jimdaddy was always on the line laughing and getting to know campers. The ice cream seemed to go on and on and was something we looked forwarded to a lot.

The other big camp memory is of Watersports Day at the old swim docks. We would walk over, the entire camp, and cheer and and swim and the synchro show was the best ever.

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Why is Greystone special to you?

Camp is special to me because it is part of who I am as a Christian. My earliest ideas of how to live a faith filled life and be true to myself started at camp. I had remarkable role models at crucial times in my life who demonstrated a devotion to faith in a way I could relate with. Over the years I have made friends at camp who remain close to this day….some from my childhood and some from my time as an adult at camp, and we share the common thread of faith. Camp is the place I look forward to for the memories, friendship and fun that happen every single year.

Favorite camp food?

When I was a camper Shepherd’s Pie was my all time favorite and now I have to say Gerv’s Beef Stroganoff is something I look forward to a lot.

Favorite Evening Program?

My all time favorite EP is the camper talent show. I don’t have any stage worthy talent so I’m always impressed with what the campers bring to the stage!

Favorite camp tradition?

EP and Sunday church are favorite camp traditions. I love the whole camp coming together to celebrate and worship together.

Anything else you want to tell our campers?

Camp is the place to make best friends because the distractions are so few; no phone, school, boys or other stressors, just loads of time to make a life long friend and I am blessed to have made many.