by Annie Ramsbotham on
September 14, 2022
Harry Titus - Moral Compass
At Falling Creek the FCC Code shapes our daily actions, as we strive to consistently live with Warrior Spirit, Servant’s Heart, Positive Attitude, and Moral Compass. The Code is a set of enduring traditional values that provides the framework for everything at camp, but its importance goes far beyond the summer months. In this blog series, we’ll highlight some of the amazing Falling Creek alumni who continue to “Live by the Code,” modeling these values in their daily lives.
In addition to discussing the camp history of these alumni, we’ll also share what they’ve been up to since being camp counselors. They give valuable advice for current counselors wanting to join their same career fields, and describe the impact that Falling Creek had on their personal and professional careers.
First in this blog series, we’ll highlight Harry Titus, Associate Dean of Students at Coastal Carolina University. Harry was a counselor at camp for 3 summers (2013-15), and has returned to work at multiple Father/Son Weekend events since.
Educators must have a good moral compass, as they are setting the example for the next generation and modeling values and ethics for their students. They have to act with integrity, always do the right and fair thing, and manage a high level of responsibility. As someone who has made his career in higher education, Harry has to exemplify his Moral Compass values daily in the role as Associate Dean of Students. He also oversees the areas of “Student Advocacy and Intervention and Off-Campus Student Services” at Coastal Carolina University, making sure that the students have someone accountable looking out for them.
Harry, what made you want to work as a counselor?
I had the opportunity to serve as a counselor and a Tribal Leader (currently known as a Line Head) during the ‘13-‘15 summers. I must say that being on staff during those summers continues to be one of the greatest experiences of my life. Those experiences provided me with a skill set and life-long friends, and for that I am forever grateful.
I decided to work at Falling Creek after not getting a job as a summer orientation leader at my undergraduate institution. Another member on staff reached out to me and shared that I would have the opportunity to work with young men and teach basketball. In all honesty, I didn’t do any research on camp and came into the experience blind. That was best for me as I was not an “outdoor” type of guy. My first summer on staff provided me with an experience that forced me out of my comfort zone with individuals that I didn’t know from all over the world.
What made you return for multiple summers?
I continued to return to Falling Creek as a counselor because as unfamiliar as that first summer was for me, I felt seen, safe, and encouraged to continue to be myself due to the atmosphere that was created at FCC by the counselors and directors. I also returned to FCC because after that first summer, I met other counselors that I knew would become a part of my life for a very long time. I am so thankful for the friendships and support I continue to receive from counselors I met during my summers on staff as a counselor.
What have you been doing since working at camp? What does a typical day look like working as a Dean?
Wow! Life has been pretty busy since working at FCC on staff during the summers. I finished undergraduate and graduate school at Coastal Carolina University, and I am currently finishing my Doctor of Education degree at Gardner Webb University. Outside of school, I get the opportunity to serve as the Associate Dean of Students at Coastal Carolina University. In my role as Associate Dean of Students, I oversee the campus-wide Students Of Concern processes, and manage a team of folks who work in the areas of Student Advocacy and Intervention and Off-Campus Student Services. In my job, I don’t believe that any day is typical or the same. I am usually responding to student crises, supporting and intervening regarding student behavioral concerns, and serving as a mentor and role model to many students on our campus.
What about the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is being able to see students gain the skills to become productive and impactful global citizens of our world. That was also one of the favorite parts about being a counselor at FCC. It is amazing that I am able to stay in contact with many campers that I’ve had during my time at FCC that are either in college currently or career driven men.
Did your experience at Falling Creek influence your professional career in any way?
During my time at FCC, I thought I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. However, I can honestly say that my experience at FCC influenced me to want to work in higher education. During my time as a Tribal Leader I had the opportunity to serve as a leader and role model for counselors, and that experience provided me with the drive and courage to go into higher education. Through my experience, I quickly gained a passion to work with college students where I would be able to serve as an advocate and mentor.
At Falling Creek, I was able to learn so many skills by living and working with integrity (practicing the use of my Moral Compass), planning events, working with a team, being innovative, and responding to any circumstance. I vividly remember the summer where it rained the majority of the time, but that summer was by far one of the greatest. As a staff, we were able to showcase our innovation and worked as a team to give the campers a stellar experience. I’ve since been able to utilize many of those skills in my day to day life and my professional career.
Do you still keep in touch with any FCC friends/counselors?
I must say that I’ve made some lifelong friends due to Falling Creek Camp. I’ve had the chance to be in the wedding of two of my closest FCC friends (Andrew and Stephanie Maddox), roadtrip across the country to Colorado with another one of my closest FCC friends (Adrian Barnes), and I continue to keep in contact with several other friends/counselors, as well as some former campers that are now doing amazing things in the world.
What advice would you give to current camp counselors who are looking for careers after the summer?
To the current counselors, work to live in the moment and take in every opportunity that you’re offered during the summers you work at FCC. Just know that the experiences and skills that you will gain from serving as a camp counselor will be transferable to any career that you choose. The ability to think outside of the box, work with many different people, and create an experience the campers enjoy will allow you to integrate into any career field. Be sure to build relationships and network with individuals, educate yourselves on the career field you are interested in, and keep a positive attitude about job searching and interviewing.
What might you recommend to someone interested in going into your same career field?
If you are interested in higher education, you are already one step ahead as a camp counselor. You must truly be passionate about working with college students if you want to be successful in this field. Begin looking for graduate assistantships that will support paying for your masters degree, connect with individuals in the field, and begin thinking about what path you would like to take in higher education.
Please know that as a counselor of FCC - whether I’ve met you or not, we now have a very unique experience in common. If I can ever be of support to any of you, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. (Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for Harry’s contact!)
One of my favorite quotes I remember from my time as a counselor says, “my little candle, if I choose to light it, makes a difference.” The light that each of you have will shine throughout your time on staff, and will make a difference for many years to come!
Do you know a member of the Falling Creek community who “Lives by the Code”? Nominate them so we can feature their stories and advice! Email email@example.com with your suggestions.