A Q&A with new Office Manager, Emma Ruppel

When Emma Ruppel was offered the office manager position at Camp Eberhart late last year, she knew her bucket was about to overflow. 

“This was kind of the perfect mixture, where I could do what I’m good at, but also, like what Denise says, ‘Fill my bucket.’ I was able to fill my bucket with kids,” she said. 

Emma originally went to school in the hopes of becoming a teacher, but along the way, she’s picked up a variety of other skills. 

The Y’s marketing team recently sat down with Emma to ask her about what she’s looking forward to working at Camp Eberhart. 

First, tell us a little bit about you. 

I’m 21. I am originally from Phoenix, Ariz. My mom and I moved to Berrien Springs when I was 12. I went to Berrien Springs High School and graduated from there. I currently live in Niles. 

How did you find this role? 

I graduated from Lake Michigan College with an associate's degree in art, which isn’t what I meant to go for. I was going for teaching and love working with kids. My last job was in real estate, so that prepared me for phone calls, contracts, paperwork, and that sort of thing, but I had been hoping to get to back to something that pertains to kids.

I had originally applied for a different job with the YMCA of Greater Michiana, but the leadership team saw me as a better fit out here at camp. I one hundred percent agreed. In a way, I had given up on teaching and being around kids, so this was an amazing opportunity.

What are you most looking forward to working at camp? 

I'm excited about the fast pace decision-making I'll get to do and the happy environment of camp. Even though this is my job, this is camp. We're making happiness for kids. Many people don’t look forward to going to their jobs, but we’re making a difference. It's worth it.  

Do you have a camp activity you’re excited about? 

All of them. But the ropes course is what interests me most. I want to get certified to teach it. To me, an office manager is someone who can jump in anywhere. I want to know everything so I can do everything.  

Did you go to camp as a kid? 

I went to Girl Scout camp and a few church camps. One of my weirdest and best memories from camp was playing dodgeball with cow tongues. Only at camp would you do that. You would never do that anywhere else. I'll never forget that. Camp is about making memories and making people laugh.  

Is there anything else you’d like to say about you or about camp? 

One of my “biggest claims to fame” is I played volleyball at Lake Michigan College. I like that the Y and Camp is an active environment. I dislike exercising at the gym, but I love doing activities that benefit my health.  

The culture around here is great. It’s only been a few weeks, but I’m having a great time. 

Monday, February 21, 2022 - 1:54pm