JoAnn DeMartini is an amazing Skyline alumnae! She attended Skyline for 11 years as a camper and counselor. Her hometown is New Orleans, Louisiana and she now resides in Sarasota, Florida. You will enjoy reading about her experiences at camp and how they impacted her life today. And enjoy the Banquet Song at the end!

What makes Skyline special to you?

I really made lifelong friends. These friends from Skyline have impacted my life since I was 8 years old. We have gone through many milestones in life such as marriages, babies, loss of parents, new jobs, moving across the country, and more. The lyrics from a memorable camp song Friends are Friends Forever, “a lifetimes’s not too long to live as friends”, could not be more true to our Skyline friendship group. We call ourselves The Crickets. I’ve known some of these ladies for over 50 years now. Eleven of those years were on lookout mountain as campers, counselors and/or admin.

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JoAnn holding up the coveted Spirit Cup in one hand and the Horse show Cup in the other! Go Mounties!

What is your favorite camp memory?

There are so many great memories at camp that it’s hard to choose just one. But if I had to choose I would say it was the downtime we had to just hang out. The unscheduled time we had to laugh, bond and joke around. Otherwise known as Vagabond Day. We could just stay in our cabin or go to our activity. I spent 8 weeks at camp each summer and this is when our closest friendships would form.

Song Night is also a cherished memory. Working on songs as leaders, teaching them at meetings then performing them on the final days of camp was very special. And winning that club competition was next to winning the Spirit Cup. Huge accomplishment!

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JoAnn receiving Honor Camper!

What life skills did you learn at camp?

Leadership! Camp’s structure of leadership opportunities at a young age led to the rest of my career as a leader. Being a Mountie song leader then a co-captain and then the ultimate Captain position was instrumental in my life. For 5 summers I was a leader of my club where I managed a group of 80 kids, ran meetings effectively, taught cheers, looked for the horseshoe and so much more. I was actively in this leadership role all day with my words and actions. Not just at scheduled meetings. An admin at the time, Inza, took me to the side my first year as a song leader and explained what it meant to be leader, how all eyes were on me and what I say and do makes a difference to all ages of campers. What kind of leader did I want to be? I truly feel that along with my parents guidance and camps opportunities as a leader I became the first female athletic director at The Pingry School in New Jersey.

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Tennis was a favorite activity!

How has Skyline’s mission statement,“Enriching young girls in God, relationships and self”, impacted your life?

This statement is exactly what happened and we didn’t even know it. With God we learned ways to act at Sunday Church and Campfires. We learned about love and respect for others and how to show it. It was fun! With Relationships we developed lifelong friendships and of all ages. Not only did you interact with other campers but also with the admin. Everyone looked out for each other. And with Self camp was like a big playground where I strengthened my confidence and natural leadership abilities.

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A special note about JoAnn and encouragement to all alumnae…

JoAnn is Skyline’s first alumnae to set up a Legacy Gift with our Skyline Foundation, a 501-c3 charity, that raises money for girls to attend camp in the summer who could otherwise not afford it. If you feel called or inspired to give back though a monetary donation of any kind please click the link below or call Frances Lindsey, Skyline Alumnae Relations Director. 1-800-448-9279.

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