North Star Camp for Boys

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Bryce Fenlon

For the first 18 years of his life, Bryce Fenlon lived in Rochester, Minnesota. However, Bryce is currently living in Madison, Wisconsin to obtain his undergraduate degree in conservation biology at UW-Madison. He will be done this December. Currently that is what Bryce focusing on, although he does work in the University’s biochemistry laboratory vivariums to support himself.

More about Bryce

How did you learn about North Star and why did you apply?

I learned about North Star on the University’s job-board. I had previously applied to be a trip leader, but we came to the mutual conclusion that because of my experience a camp counselor position was more suitable.

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

Coffee is Life

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

As sad for the United States’ population as it was, I would be fascinated to see JFK’s 1963 assassination in Dallas, Texas. It was the 60’s Pearl Harbor, an earlier 9/11 that left the entire world stunned and threatened to turn the cold war into a frigid one. It’s a morbid fascination, I admit, but the man created the organization that I intend to participate in after my undergraduate – the Peace Corps.

What is your dream vacation?

A one-way ticket to Mexico City, and then to work my way down through Central and South America to the tip of Argentina and Chile, Tierra del Fuego. Over the last few years I have fallen in love with Hispanic culture and the Spanish language, and the landscapes across Latin America fascinate me.

If you had a super hero power, what would it be:

Instantaneous translator. Language is a remarkable way to learn about culture, and culture is an amazing way to connect with anyone. 

What noteworthy/random/menial jobs have you held?

I worked for my neighbor as a crack filler and seal coater. You know when you see a parking lot with all those fresh rubber lines and covered in a new matte-black coat? That was me for a summer. I got sunburnt and pretty dehydrated some days, but overall it was a good way for me to learn what I didn’t want to do for the rest of my life.

What TV show or movie are you ashamed to admit that you love?

Marley & Me. Only movie I’ve ever cried to, and I still love it.

What did you do last summer?

I spent last summer at a field research station on the Batipa Peninsula, about 40 minutes from the city of Davíd in the Chiriquí province of Panama. I spent three months working mainly with mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata), but also with tamarins, Ateles geoffroyi spider monkeys, and a couple of capuchins that were too smart for their own good.

What is a little-known fact about yourself:

I can leave my phone alone for days at a time, given the right environment. A remarkable talent as a 22-year-old.

What, if any previous camp/outdoor experiences have you had?

From kindergarten through my eighteenth birthday, I participated in the Boy Scouts of America. To this day I remain involved, and am currently an assistant scoutmaster for my home troop. I spent countless nights on campouts, and as I got older and more athletic that evolved to high-adventure camps; sailing in the Florida Keys, backpacking in the Sangre de Cristo subrange of the Rocky Mountains, and of course the Boundary Waters. To say I liked it would be the understatement of the century. The BSA shaped me into the person I am today. It gave me an immense appreciation for nature in all its unique forms, and contributed greatly to my movement away from engineering into the field of conservation biology. I probably feel more at home in a forest than in my own house, to be honest.