Get to Know Sam Schley

December 10, 2013

By Deb Carneol, Social Media Coordinator

Do you work out on the fitness floor of the JCC, have kids at Rainbow Day Camp or Kids Center, or just spent time at the Hy & Richard Smith JCC Water Park this summer?  Then you have probably met Sam Schley.  I had the chance to sit down with this energetic staff member to learn more about him and what he loves most about working here at the JCC. 

Deb Carneol: How long have you been working at the JCC?

Sam Schley: I have been working at the JCC for seven years total -- JCC Rainbow Day Camp for four years, Kids Center for the past three years, I worked at the Hy & Richard Smith JCC Water Park this past summer working the grounds and running games for kids, and as of February I will have been on the fitness floor for one year.

DC: That is a lot of different positions!  Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do for each of them?

SS: The majority of my jobs have included helping out with children. I was a special needs counselor at JCC Rainbow Day Camp, and I currently help Jody Margolis with the special needs programming STARS.  I am also currently a Kids Center teacher. As a teacher I help the Kids Center children with homework, organize activities and programs, and I act as a mentor to the kids. This past summer I was the activities director at the Hy & Richard Smith JCC Water Park.  In that job, I planned and ran activities for the kids there. It was a great way to meet lots of new kids and families, and I hope I can return in that capacity this summer.

Most recently I began working with adults.  This past year I started working as a fitness floor attendant, which led me to become a certified personal trainer.  Not only do I do the normal fitness floor attendant duties, but I also meet individually with members to help them achieve their personal health and fitness goals.  

DC: What is your favorite part of your job for each of your different roles here at the JCC?

SS: In Kids Center I like seeing the growth of the children and see them happy about learning. For my work with the STARS program, I plain and simple love seeing the kids smile. It is the best feeling in the world!   Lastly, on the fitness floor I like seeing our members reach their goals and be proud of the work they’ve done.

DC: What's your favorite game to play with the kids?

SS: Night at the Museum is always a blast! It is a game where the more ridiculous you are, the more fun the game.

DC: What is your favorite thing to say to a client to motivate them on the fitness floor?

SS: Getting in the door is half the battle.

DC:  If you have learned one thing from working at the JCC, what has that been?

SS: I have learned a lot, but I guess the two things that have really stuck with me is how to be open to new ideas and that if you truly work hard something good will come and your hard work will pay off!

DC: It is obvious you found a place for the JCC in your professional life, but was the JCC a part of your life before you started working here? 

SS: The JCC was a big part of my childhood.  I was a camper at JCC Rainbow Day Camp as well as Camp Interlaken JCC for a few years.  I have great memories from both.  I also grew up using the fitness center as well.  I really have come full circle with my childhood memories though.  I now play in the gym and go to the pool with the Kids Center kids, and the old Blue Room classroom is now my Kids Center classroom.