Chrissy Schneider graduated from the International Politics and Policy (IPP) track in 2009. Today she is the the Assistant Director at Camp Highroad in Middleburg, Virginia. Highroad is a residential Christian summer camp, and she oversees all the summer aspects of it as well as off-season and weekend groups.
How did an IPP major end up working as a camp director twenty minutes away from PHC? Read the interview below to find out!
What's the best part about your job?
The thing that I love the most is that I get to see people growing over time: whether that’s campers or staff. I don’t get to have deep relationships with people, but I get to see them grow. I love seeing how God uses camp to grow people into who they’re supposed to be.
Okay, let's turn back time. What do you remember from PHC? What has followed you through your adult life?
Most of my memories are people-oriented, which makes a lot of sense based on where I am now. The people at PHC are special, and I can really only describe it in stories.
I played soccer at school, and soccer practice didn't end until most of the other students had finished eating in the dining hall. The team always expected that we'd finish practice and just eat with each other or by ourselves, but it most of my non-soccer friends would actually wait for me to eat dinner. They could have gone in as soon as dinner started to eat with everyone else, but they waited for me to be done on the field.
I also have this really vivid memory of me and my friend studying Western Civilization one winter. We had studied all morning, but we were just totally done. We were tired of studying, so we bolted outside without any shoes on and ran barefoot into the snow.
One spring a bunch of us made a study guide in chalk on the sidewalk. It was a beautiful day outside, and we were studying for a final, but we were also outside playing with chalk. It was a strange colliding of work and play that you really only get in college.
Do you remember any chapel messages?
The only chapel that I remember—one of the professors was talking—but I remember realizing halfway through that he had not spoken any of his own words. He had taken all of these scriptures about love, and he had put them together in a way that wasn’t choppy at all. He had memorized it too like a sermon, but it was just scripture. It shocked me that he had put the time into that while he was teaching classes.
How did the Classical Liberal Arts education help get you where you are now?
Playing soccer at PHC is what got me where I am now. Between just learning how to network at school and also discovering a love of the outdoors, I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for PHC.
Being forced to learn things so broadly has helped me where I am now because I where so many hats. During the summer, I'm coordinating summer camp and making sure everything runs smoothly. During the off season, I'm training staff, coordinating group visits, filling in other positions where they need me, and so on. Taking classes at PHC that I wasn’t really interested in has helped me continue to learn a variety of things, whether it’s child -protection or fire-building.
PHC taught me a love of scripture. Part of my job at camp is to teach people how to teach scripture. It wasn’t something that I necessarily learned from the classes at PHC, but from the community at school
I learned how to be a friend. It was the first time I had real friends. Learning how to live in community with people and love people who are different than me: all things that are important at camp.
Do you remember any advice your professors gave you?
I took Intro to Journalism my senior year, and in that class, Dr. Sillars told me,
"Do your best with the time that you have, turn it in, and forget about it."
I still use that to this day.
What advice do you have for current and future students?
Don’t neglect your relationship with God. That should be your most important thing at college. If that means you get a B on your paper instead of an A, that’s okay, because it’s not going to matter in eternity.
The community at PHC and the skills that it taught me are so worthwhile. Don’t just look at what’s going to help your career, look at what is going to better your relationship with Christ.
Find out more about what sets PHC apart from the status quo...