Former policy management major Nick Shepherd ’16 managed to successfully navigate the challenges of a pandemic while helping to run a family-owned all-boys camp in southern Maine. As assistant director of Camp Skylemar, he and his family finished the summer with zero positive COVID-19 cases amongst a 300-person population.
Can you speak to how Dickinson’s useful liberal-arts education helped you along your career path?
The liberal-arts education is an essential opportunity for growth. You and I may never be able to directly identify it, but so much of the catalyst for original thought, expression or study comes from the liberal-arts education. I have done things and will continue to do things that I know would not be possible if I were not invited to learn about so many different academic fields.
What was your favorite activity/organization at Dickinson?
My favorite organization at Dickinson College is most definitely the men’s lacrosse team. Dickinson College offers the greatest college lacrosse experience in the world. And that is a statement that I will stand by as long as the person who makes it all possible remains a Red Devil. Outside of my mother and father, Coach Dave Webster ’88 has been the most influential role model in my life. To have someone like him “in your corner” from the day you step on campus is the greatest gift a college student can be bestowed. He models hard work, how to take care of yourself and those around you, how to grow and what success in life truly looks like. Dickinson College was the tremendous experience that it was for me because of Dave Webster and what he gives the members of the men’s lacrosse team.
How has Dickinson’s focus on global education impacted your life or career since graduation?
The focus on global education is a core element to the framework of a Dickinson education. Experiences studying abroad and discussing global topics on campus have left lasting impressions within me. I reminisce, talk about and learn from the places I went and people I connected with at Dickinson every day.
How do you stay involved with Dickinson?
I stay involved with Dickinson indirectly through my network of best friends. We organize events throughout the year to be together. Our annual Labor Day weekend festivities take place at an undisclosed location and hold events that are then talked about for the rest of that year. I stay involved in a direct sense by attending or being a part of any Dickinson affiliated events both in Carlisle and elsewhere.
What does your current work entail?
I currently serve as the assistant director at Camp Skylemar, a camp located in southern Maine. I got to this point after spending several years teaching and working in admissions both at Dickinson College and the Boys' Latin School of Maryland. Teaching would then be put on pause after earning a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University so that I could assist my family’s business, Camp Skylemar, in a full-time capacity. Camp Skylemar is an all-boys six-week camp located in Naples, Maine. The camp was founded by my grandfather 73 years ago and has been owned and operated by my family ever since. This past summer, we made the decision to open for the 2020 season, making us one of the very few summer camps within our circles to be open. We adopted the bubble method along with many other safety precautions for our campers and staff, and would finish the summer with zero positive COVID cases among a 300-person population. After a successful 2020 season, my role now is to recruit, maintain, market and perform many other tasks to help build on everything about Camp Skylemar. I still also coach lacrosse, which began at Dickinson, and now takes shape as the head JV coach at Boys’ Latin.
How has your time at Dickinson impacted your life after graduation?
Dickinson College gave me every opportunity I needed to create the relationships that would allow me to grow and learn in the ways that fit my needs. Every success that I have had since walking down the steps of Old West in 2016 has and will forever share some linkage to my experiences and connections made at Dickinson. I believe that the finest currency in humanity is relationships, and that is exactly what I got from my adventures at Dickinson College. Yes, I learned a lot from my academic studies, from playing lacrosse and studying abroad in Bologna, but none of it would have had the meaning that it did without the relationships Dickinson allowed me to create. Peers, faculty, coaches and other affiliates are what got me to where I am today and who will get me to where I’m going tomorrow.
Published December 8, 2020