Emmy Niinimaki is Camp Sewataro’s Director of Operations, a role she was promoted to in 2020 after serving as assistant director since 2007. Emmy is responsible for the myriad nuts and bolts at Camp, but it is the intangibles that fostered and maintained her deep love for camping.
“I believe deeply in the positive impact that camp can have on the lives of children, families and staff. Feeling like you belong and being valued for your true self are maybe the most important ingredients to being fulfilled, and are quickly becoming harder to find in this world. I found this at camp myself, and I’ve witnessed others finding this belonging at camp over and over again. I love being a part of it. I want my work to mean something and I can’t think of a better place than camp to accomplish that goal.”
Emmy is responsible for ensuring Camp’s smooth operation – not only what occurs during the camp day, which is a huge task – but all the things that occur before and after the camp day and before and after each camp season.
And Camp has changed a lot since Emmy first arrived on Liberty Ledge.
“When I started, Camp had one computer and one email address! We did everything by snail mail and on paper. There were only three sessions…all 8 weeks, the first four or the second four. Tribe – now Group – assignments were done by hand, with tiny nametags for each camper hung on a big wall.”
Things change, but what hasn’t is Emmy’s commitment to making Camp Sewataro the very best.
“To see how Camp helps to shape campers to be such kind, joyful, confident and respectful people…and to feel like my work plays a part in that growth, is very fulfilling.”
Emmy hails from Cummington, a small town in Western Mass. and prior to Sewataro spent three summers as Girls Camp Director at a YMCA overnight camp in New Hampshire. She resides in Westminster with her husband and two children, who attend Camp Sewataro. In her free time, Emmy enjoys the outdoors, especially camping, hiking and skiing.
Education: Waconah Regional HS | BA Elementary Education and Communications, Keene State College
Trivia: hiked the Appalachian Trail from Virginia to New York after college