Peter Swift

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Many leaders of today were raised by television and video games rather than good old-fashioned Pennsylvania black bears. Peter Swift is an exception, having been adopted by a pair of Ursus American us at a young age. They taught him all he knows about the outdoors and Machiavellian office politics during his formative years living under logs and rocks in the Allegheny Mountains.

This upbringing prepared Peter for the rigors of gaining a Philosophy degree at Grove City college, and landing a career in sales, marketing, and eventually operations for an rock-climbing and outdoor gear distributor until finally moving on to his current non-profit leadership role. Despite routinely missing out on hibernation, he still manages to find time to serve as executive director of Camp Susque.

When he isn’t helping to lead Susque’s ministries, he can be found scrounging for grubs and berries or watching college basketball with his wife Lindsey, twin daughters Audrey and Nora, son Isaac, and dog Sawyer.

What year did you start at Camp Susque?

I became director in 2015, though I served as counselor, support staff, area coordinator, trek leader, head cook, and a board member prior to being director.

What kind of experience do you have in your field?

see #1. I also worked in sales for an outdoor gear distributor, and was a sales rep for many summer camps and all of the Boys Scouts nationally.

What kind of schooling do you have?

BA in Philosophy from Grove City College. Working at Grove City toward my MBA.

Where were you born and raised?

Born in Williamsport, raised mostly at Susque.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I used to co-own an internet service provider called "Swift-Networks"

What was your first job?

Weeded plants at a greenhouse owned by a Susque neighbor in Bodines

Describe your perfect day off?

I'm not sure what the whole day would be, but it would definitely include tubing in the creek with my kids, and napping in my hammock.

Where’s the coolest place you’ve ever been?

I've been to a lot of places, but McIntyre Wild Area, and specifically Rock Run, are still my favorite places.

What’s one thing on your bucket list that you’d love to do?

Visit Hawaii or New Zealand

What is your favorite Scripture?

Psalm 63:8 - My soul clings to you, your right hand upholds me.

What is your favorite area at Camp Susque?

Up and down the cataracts and waterfalls of Moss Run.

What is the story behind your fun photo prop?

I have a lot of weird obsessions, and one of them is Nalgene bottles. To try to make it less weird, I included my favorite dog, Sawyer.

Describe your job at Camp Susque in a nutshell, and what is your favorite day in the life of your job?

I have the best job at Susque. I get to work with our year-round staff, our seasonal staff, and our campers. I get to have a bit of an experience in each different "department" of Susque, which is a really satisfying and enjoyable thing. I'm responsible for a lot of the hiring and training of staff, and I get to be involved in a lot of the fundraising that happens here. In an average day, I meet with some of our year-round team for one-on-one meetings, I make some thank-you phone calls, work through some of the logistics of managing Susque's finances, and work on the next event that is coming up, while keeping an eye on the year-round needs.

What are you good at? 

This might be really boring, but I love excel and spreadsheets. Slightly less boring, I'm weirdly good at Mario Kart double-dash on the GameCube.

What challenges you?

Deadlines.

What is your favorite camp memory as a child?

I have a Susque stew that really sticks out when I was a mountainman. I was in a cabin with a lot of great guys, and our counselor was Chief Micah, and we had our stew at Creekside campsite after we built an enormous lean-to that fit our entire cabin group.

When did you become a Christian?

I was blessed to be born into a Christian family that consistently kept me in God's word, church, and Susque. I was blessed with many Christian friends and influences too, though I would say it wasn't until my faith was seriously challenged in high school that I began to make it my own and really take it seriously. Through a challenging teacher who was definitely antagonistic toward Christianity, I found myself having to pursue God's word more seriously, and that process helped me make my faith my own.

General Camp Info

Mission and Beliefs

Susque's mission, statement of faith and beliefs

Directions

How to get to Camp Susque

Camp Map

Interactive map of our buildings and property

Financial Accountability

How we use the gifts and finances entrusted to us.

Board of Directors

Our Leadership

History and Tradition

How Camp Susque came to be

Staff & Employment

Meet the Staff

Meet your year-round staff

Work at Susque

Join the Susque team

Internships

For credit & not-for-credit programs available.

Chaplains

Meet the Camp Chaplains

Camps & Trips

Summer Youth Camps

For campers entering grades 1-11

Winter Youth Camps

For campers in grades 3-12

Family Camp

Camps for whole families

Wilderness Trips

A camping experience at a whole new level.  Grades 6-12.

Educational Programs

Educational Programs Overview

Special programs and classes throughout the year.

School Field Trips

Field Trips Overview

Unique, interactive and memorable experiences for students.

Susque Podcast

The Susquodcast

A regular podcast dedicated to all things Camp Susque.

Other Programs

Susque Trail Run

Annual 5k through Susque's property

Youth Summit

For Jr and Sr high youth groups

Harvest Festival

Activities for the whole family

Spring Family Weekend

Weekend getaway for intentional family time.

Donate

Donate to Susque's mission and help create experiences that last a lifetime.

Volunteer

Sign up for a work weekend to help us gear up for camp season.

Wishlist

A list of items that can benefit Susque's mission