Father Knows Best: Stories of Love at Camp Part 3

If you’re just joining our Valentine’s Week tribute to love stories that began at camp, be sure to read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Meet Josh & Rosie Bogard

Josh Bogard has been an overnight camper for 30 years – first as a camper and now as Head Boys Counselor at Iroquois Springs in New York. Every summer as a child, the night before Josh’s 8-week adventure, his father repeated these words:

“Be nice to all of the girls because you never know who you’ll meet.  Remember, I met your mother at camp.”

Josh heeded his father’s advice. He and Rosie grew up at Camp Poyntelle in Poyntelle, Pennsylvania. They spent their entire childhood and adolescence there, but it wasn’t until he was a counselor and she was his division head that they met. (She’s three years older than Josh).

Josh says:

“We formed a nice relationship and I quickly fell in love. We started to spend all of our free time together and after two summers realized that we had something special. Our love for camp, passion for working with children and desire to make a difference in other people’s lives drew us together. Something had to draw us together because why else would a native Brooklyn girl fall in love with a native Long Island boy in the middle of the woods? We were opposite to say the least but camp is what brought us together.” In fact, the two have not been home for a summer since they were 7 years old.

Fast forward 20 years and 2 children later, the two are still highly involved in camp. They currently serve as the Boys and Girls head counselors at Iroquois Springs, where they’ve been for the past 17 years of their adult lives. “We love helping to shape the lives of the campers and staff on our respective sides of camp,” Josh says.

Why is camp a good place to meet your spouse?

“Camp is basically what started everything for us. We both have close to 35 consecutive summers in residential camping and have not been home for a summer since we were seven years old. Our love for camp is what brought us together and is something that we love and keeps us connected.

I think that people who love and understand camp understand the world better, and who better to fall in love with than someone who agrees?

Camp is this magical place where even adults feel like kids. Obviously, the main goal of any summer is for the campers and staff to have the most fun in the safest way possible. We tell our staff that there is something special about camp that connects people in such a tight way in an incredibly short amount of time. Not many other jobs can do this. Many of our best friends have met in camp and have gotten married. We’ll be married 10 years in August. It is quite incredible. Camp needs to be part of everyone’s life.”

Also watching my wife, Rosie, in her element is pretty awesome too. She really is great at what she does and getting to work closely together throughout the summer is something that we love.

We always joke that our kids better love camp because they don’t have another option during the summer. They both started camp when they were three months old. Thankfully they enjoy it as much as us.

Here’s the part we love the most: The night before their daughter spent her first full summer in a bunk at 7 years old, Josh whispered in her ear at bedtime,

“Be nice to all of the boys because you never know who you are going to meet. Remember, I met your mother in camp.”

Next up: A couple who found that the spirit that drew them together at camp was stronger than time and distance apart.

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About Gina Calvert

Gina Calvert is the Senior Marketing Writer for ACTIVE Network, providing marketing and business resources for active lifestyle organizations across a range of markets, including government, nonprofits, camps, schools and endurance events, for more than six years.