Julianne “Zilla” Baker: Y Story

It all started with a phone call.

When a friend called up Julianne Baker, aka “Zilla,” in 2010 and asked if she wanted to join her at a summer camp, it was an immediate yes! From summers, often spent outside, Zilla knew Camp Glenburn would be right up her alley.

It wasn’t long before Zilla soon learned the family connections she and her friend had to Glenburn. Her friend’s dad (Hotdog), aunt (Patches) and sister (Abba) had all previously worked at Glenburn, and Zilla’s mom had actually been one of Patches’ campers in the 70s. So, naturally there was excitement when Zilla approached her mom about attending Glenburn.

“Camp was so magical for me,” Zilla reflects – noting the idea of spending all that time outside was a huge sell. But it was the impact the counsellors had on her that stood out and made her want to return.

“I wanted to be a role model for other kids in the same way my counsellors were for me.”

Zilla attended Camp Glenburn as a camper in the summer of 2010 and 2011, then returned in 2014 as a Counsellor in Training (CIT) and continued working on staff as a Junior Counsellor in 2015 and a Senior Counsellor in 2016.

It was during those years that Zilla knew she was where she needed to be. She was inspired to be able to spend an entire summer with like-minded people who were all connected by their love for the same thing; Camp Glenburn!

“The overwhelming sense of community that radiated from [her fellow counsellors and staff] was inspiring.”

But that was not the end of her time at Camp Glenburn. After a six-year hiatus, Zilla returned to Camp Glenburn in 2022 as the Camp Coordinator, and has recently been announced as the 2023 Camp Director!

When reflecting back at some of her favorite moments at Camp Glenburn, Zilla mentions that she did a little bit of everything, but spent a lot of time swimming and doing arts and crafts and making friends who she would later work with at camp.  As a counsellor, she cherished the time spent doing activities together as a cabin.

“I still remember dressing up in silly costumes and doing a wacky fashion show and photoshoot and then watching the sun go down.”  From making DIY lanterns and writing down wishes to add to the wishing tree in Fee’s Field, to joining with another cabin to tackle one of the high ropes courses, Zilla experienced many amazing bonding moments.

And when asked what she would say to someone considering coming to Camp Glenburn, Zilla responded, “There is no place in the whole world that has made me feel more confident in myself. I feel safe and accepted and loved, and I am so lucky to be able to experience all these feelings in such a beautiful outdoor space. Everyone deserves to feel that way, and Camp could be that place for you. If magic truly exists, it’s at Glenburn. I believe that with my whole heart.”