Towering Pines Blog

Alumni Corner! – Jeff Clapper

Posted by on January 7, 2013

Do you ever wonder what Towering Pines does for your sons???  A very successful, Jeff Clapper, writes about his memories of Towering Pines and how it impacted his life: 

After several envious years hearing all about Towering Pines from my friend Paul Frederiksen, I started going to TP when I was 10 and continued every summer until I was 18. It was a great chance to try all kinds of activities that I never would have tried in school or at home. Also, being mostly outside all summer was rejuvenating in a way that I didn’t really recognize until I was a little older. (I still threaten to go back to camp occasionally.)

One other small but lasting life lesson from camp was about how people can change. On the first day back, someone made a negative comment about one of the other guys from our age group who wasn’t due in for another day. Our counselor–it might have been Geoff Handler–pointed out that we hadn’t seen this other guy in almost a whole year, and encouraged us to think about how much we’d changed in that same time before expecting him to be the same person. From that brief exchange, I’ve tried to remember that over time, people can and do change, often for the better.

After camp/high school, I went to Ohio Wesleyan University–also the alma mater of Matt Tuttle–then moved back to Chicago. I worked with our family’s magazine business for a couple years before we sold it in 2006 (on the NYTimes site recently). I then started an online gaming company in Chicago, which I sold two years ago around the same time that my wife, Brenda and I moved to Northwest Arkansas, which is where Walmart is headquartered. I now own several retail-related businesses (8th & WaltonStore of the CommunitySelling to the Masses), and my wife and I just had our first child over Thanksgiving! Arkansas’ motto is actually “The Natural State,” and I’ve really enjoyed having a lot more chances to get outside here–camping, hiking, cycling, etc..

We had a chance to visit camp two summers ago with our dog, Milly, and it was thrilling for all of us. Brenda and I have already started planning how we’ll get our daughter from Bentonville, AR to Eagle River, WI.

Take care and I hope your sons have a great time at camp this summer!

Jeff Clapper