Will Burke

Moultonborough, New Hampshire

One of the coolest realizations I’ve had about living is that, in a lot of ways, we get to choose the type of person we want to be. Growing up at Camp Deerwood in the summers, I routinely saw dudes not much older than me shredding down rapids in canoes, taking super tough lines on mountain bikes, and pushing the sails to the limit out on the water. Most importantly though, those same peers that lived life with passion and verve encouraged me to do the same. In addition to giving it their all, they took the time to share that way of life me. During those years I like to think I soaked up those traits of my fellow campers and counselors, figuratively drawing from the “personality bank” that was available to me every day.

The lessons I learned at summer camp pushed me to take a less traveled path before jumping headfirst into the books at Middlebury. In the months preceding my start at school, I worked as a deckhand on a traditional sailing schooner along the east coast of the U.S. and throughout the Caribbean. During every watch, I was teaching my group of students to “Give’r,” passing on the philosophy that I soaked up from my own role models.

To me “Give’r” is about more than fully committing and giving it your all. About more than living life with passion and purpose. To me, choosing to Give’r is about doing all of those things, while taking it upon yourself to share that lifestyle with everyone around you. In sharing this philosophy, it is my hope that this will inspire others to get out there and Give’r in their own chosen way!