When Brad and Natasha Krauz started working at Oasis summer camp in 2007, they had no idea what a life-changing experience it would be. They officially met while working at Oasis Tully Park and tied the knot three years later in 2010!
These professional educators know the ins and outs of Oasis summer camp, and are committed to providing kids with the best summer of their lives in a safe, caring and fun environment. Between the two of them, their camp management experience includes being camp directors, regional directors, program directors, and division leaders.
Oasis is really a family affair for Brad and Natasha, who have made Oasis Bayside summer camp in Queens their home base for the past two years.
Their 7-year-old son Kyle has attended Oasis summer camp for four years and isn’t shy about feedback on his favorite activities (swimming and special events). And although 6-month-old son KJ still has a few more years before he can attend preschool summer camp in Queens, but you’re likely to see him and Natasha when they pick up Kyle from camp.
The Krauz’s are excited about the upcoming camp season at the Queensborough Community College campus and all it has to offer Oasis campers. Keep reading to find out more about the management team at Oasis Bayside summer camp in Queens and their favorite Oasis experiences.
How did you get interested in camp?
Brad: Growing up I went to camp in the Poconos. As an adult I worked at LuHi Summer Camps before finding Oasis and making it my home.
Natasha: I graduated from St. John’s and was starting my first teaching job at West Hempstead High School in the fall but wanted to work that summer. I was looking for something seasonal and had no idea what it would be like to work at a camp but I decided to apply to Oasis. That first summer I fell in love with the campers, staff, philosophy and location, and kept coming back!
Why do you think teachers are such a good fit for summer camp management?
Brad: As Natasha mentioned, it’s a good fit for a teacher’s schedule but more importantly, teachers love being around kids. And camp offers both teachers and students a break from school with all the testing and mandates and requirements. It’s nice to just have fun.
What are your favorite things that happen on a typical day at Oasis summer camp?
Brad: I love seeing how excited the kids get about swimming. They really love the pool and learning how to swim. Another favorite is the overall excitement that comes from singing our morning rally cheers. The kids end up singing them all day long and it shows how special it is to be a part of the Oasis family.
Natasha: I love watching the kids interact and grow socially. I remember dropping off Kyle at camp one day and a young girl was crying. He turned to her and said, “Don’t worry, parents always come back.” The kids trust the staff and counselors, and know that camp is a safe place.
Why do you think kids love attending Oasis camp?
Brad: Kids love Oasis summer camp because it’s a chance to have awesome fun in a safe and supportive environment. Camp offers an escape from the expectations of the school environment and a chance to develop new, exciting friendships while participating in activities and experiences that they might otherwise never get. They’re all rookies when they come to camp and it’s a safe place to try something new.
Why would you recommend that students become an Oasis camp counselor?
Brad: There is no more rewarding experience then working with children. Kids are genuine and appreciate everything that you do for them. It’s cathartic knowing that you have made a positive impact on a young person. Plus, counselors learn real life skills to manage people and their own emotions, so it is a real growth experience. Not to mention, you basically get paid to play games and swim all day, so what could be better?
Tell us about a favorite memory from camp this summer.
Brad: My favorite memory was definitely our TekIntellect Robotics session. A specialty group came and taught the campers about robotics and engineering. The campers got to design their own cars and test them out. The hands-on experience, along with the intellectual stimulation, brought out excitement and enthusiasm from all. My son Kyle loved it! We definitely want to create more enrichment programs and STEM themed activities in the future.
What are you most excited about returning to camp for the 2020 season?
Brad & Natasha: We’re always excited for upcoming camp seasons. It gives us a chance to continue the traditions that our campers and families love, improve the ones that aren’t quite there yet, and add new things that make lifetime memories. We want to fully maximize the facilities and spaces that we have available to us at Queensborough Community College so the campers get the most out of their time with us. And of course, we look forward to rebuilding the personal connection with our Oasis families. That connection is so important to all of us.
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