Hello! My name is Maddie Miller, and I am the Director of Education for VeryVera Cooking Camp 2017. This is my sixth year working for VeryVera camps. I began as a camper twelve years ago when I was 8 years old. I went through each level of camp, learning more and more every year. When I turned 14 it was the last year I would attend as a camper, but little did I know that I would begin my journey working in the shipping department at VeryVera, then on to the role as a camp junior counselor, a counselor, and now the Director of Education.
VeryVera has always been a well-known name in my family. My relatives all over the country received the famous Red Velvet cake for Christmas. As a kid, Mrs. Vera’s cakes made every occasion a true celebration. I still have a few of tins used for packaging the cakes.
The summer I turned 8 was probably one of the most memorable and exciting summers of my childhood. I was finally old enough to start my first year of Cooking Camp, since 8 was the youngest age that could come to camp at the time. I loved being in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother, but I was ready to learn more and challenge myself. I remember my first day of camp as if it was yesterday. Mrs. Vera was out front with a beautiful smile on her face and a cute outfit to match. She made me feel so welcomed and I was so excited to finally be in the kitchen where thousands of cakes have been made and shipped all over the country. It was a dream come true!
My years as a camper taught me more than just important skills to have in the kitchen, but also etiquette. The lessons of learning how to plan a party, write a thank you note, and have good manners at the table are skills I will carry throughout my life. I was always a little shy growing up, but thanks to Mrs. Vera and all of the counselors I have had over the years, I have learned how to speak in front of a large group of people with confidence and poise.
The role a counselor plays in the life of a camper is truly remarkable. I always looked up to the counselors I had growing up, and I made it a goal of mine to one day become one myself. My experience of being a counselor has taught me so much, and I am so thankful for the opportunity I have had to work with such amazing children. There is a lot of hard work that goes into preparing for camp. I have a great amount of appreciation for the counselors I have had the pleasure of working with and, and I love learning from their stories of their camp days.
I recently finished my freshman year at Georgia College & State University, where I am currently studying marketing. Although becoming an entrepreneur is a great dream of mine, I have always loved working with children. The job of Director of Education has been the highlight of my summer. I have had the joy of teaching campers from the age of 6 all the way to 14. There have been challenges, but thanks to my years of being a part of VeryVera, I have learned to face them head on and learn from them in order to improve. I am so thankful for the awesome team of counselors this summer and their hard work. I love waking up and going to work!
This summer I have also had the pleasure of working with my little sister, Gigi. We have always been a team, in and out of the kitchen. I love being able to work alongside someone so happy and hardworking. She continues to amaze me and inspire me with her determination and eagerness to jump in and lend a hand. Cooking camp was something we went through together and gained so many friendships and lifelong lessons. We have come a long way from our days of glasses and braces!
The last six years have made me the person I am today. VeryVera is a family and the best team of people with whom to work. I cannot thank Mrs. Vera enough for all of her encouragement and the inspiring stories of her personal experiences. I have gained confidence, life skills, and a great amount of happy memories all thanks to VeryVera. I am looking forward to the last two weeks of camp and the many memories to come!