Alum makes full circle return at SCA

Campus may seem like a quiet place each summer but it hosts various camps from early June until late July each year. There’s the Especially For Youth Mormon Camp, which brings in over 400 students; the Ohio Teen Institute in its fifth year on campus, and several more along with the countless youth football, basketball and soccer camps. Then there’s Showchoir Camps of America.

Each year, Heidelberg is the host to the Showchoir Camps of America. 2017 marks the 30th year of campers, counselors and teachers spending a week on campus in mid-July. Over 700 campers participate in days typically consisting of mornings in rehearsals, afternoons in workshops and performances in the evenings. Over the course of eight years, Ashley Racicot, ‘15, has seen and done it all at SCA.

The Massachusetts native first came to Heidelberg as a camper the summer before her junior year of high school. She became a camp counselor her sophomore year at Heidelberg and now she’s back as a teacher. “I visited (Heidelberg) last year but this is the first time I’ve been back here for Showchoir in five years,” Ashley said. “I was so excited to get back here again.”

The “Showchoir Girl,” as she was known during her first few weeks as a college student, was the first to enroll at Heidelberg after being an SCA camper. “Everybody was really interested in getting me here,” she said. “My admission counselor, the Spanish Department, specifically (Spanish professor) Dr. Cindy Lepeley, and the choir director all called me directly, which help set a big tone.”

Ashley still recalls moving into her dorm room on her 18th birthday, the day before camp and a week before orientation. “Greg Ramsdell and his wife, Cynthia, made me cupcakes for my birthday, my first day at Heidelberg,” she remembered.

I’ve always had that very personal, family feel here at Heidelberg, even before I was a student, which is incredible.

“The beauty of getting to come back here for (SCA) is that all of my worlds collide,” she said, mentioning her friends from Showchoir throughout the country along with her Heidelberg friends and family. “It’s the perfect fusion of all of my worlds.”

Ashley graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish in 2015. She headed back to the Northeast to teach Spanish 101 and 102 at the University of Rhode Island, while enrolled in the master’s program there. Now, she teaches Spanish at her alma mater, Shepherd Hill Regional High School, in Dudley, Massachusetts.

On top of all of her teaching duties, she is opening the The Jazzercise Oxford Fitness Studio back in Massachusetts with her sister as her co-instructor. “I never was a workout person and now I’m a fitness instructor. If you would’ve told me that five years ago I would’ve thought you were insane.” The studio is scheduled to open on August 5.

One might wonder how Ashley finds time to get any rest bring a full-time teacher, fitness instructor and continuously helping out with SCA. “That is the third time in the last two days someone has asked me when I sleep,” she laughed. “I operate on busy, it’s my default setting.”

The SCA campers and counselors have already offered the Heidelberg graduate their help at her new studio. With the campers’ involvement at her studio keeping her connected to SCA and SCA keeping her connected to campus, the “perfect fusion” theme of her life continues. “My life is very full circle,” she said.

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