Melissa Brink


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From what I can remember, I was always a very energetic child.

Because my mother couldn’t get me to sit still for longer than a nanosecond, she enrolled me in gymnastics and dance classes, so I tumbled and twirled my way through the 60’s and 70’s. Eventually I got serious and ended up pursuing both of these pastimes through high school. The focus that I needed to succeed in these activities is something that I call into play a lot in my job at Overland. When enrollment season is in full swing and there are thousands of details to deal with, I need to be able to zone in on one student at a time, one application at a time and make sure all the details are where they need to be. Just as walking across a balance beam requires an intense focus, so does keeping all the details straight when we’re enrolling thousands of students each summer.

My oldest daughter went on the Rocky Mountain Explorer in the summer of 2005 after she finished 8th grade. She’s now 23 and led one of Overland’s Language & Exploration Spain trips in summer 2014. The thing I love about Overland is that all the things she learned about teamwork, friendship and selflessness when she was 13 are the lessons that she was teaching her group of 12 Overland students nine summers later, and the effect was the same; she couldn’t stop talking about her trip. When she returned from the Rockies in 2005, she showed me all of her photos and told me stories non-stop, and in 2014, when she returned from leading her trip, I saw the same elation, with a more mature vision about her experience. The lessons she learned as an Overland camper were still with her as an adult. The evolution of those lessons and how she passed them on to a new group of teenagers was really cool to see.

Talking to parents who call to inquire about trips is my favorite part of the job. I love focusing on one Overland family at a time and helping parents work through the details about dates, their child’s interests, other summer activities their child engages in and getting them to select the perfect trip for their child.