“It was interesting to contemplate the ‘About’ page on my website,” confides Dr. Thurber. “The average person spends 40 seconds or less on each web page he or she visits. Whew! That’s less than a second for each year of my life, so I better be brief.
“What reveals the most about me are my longstanding commitments. I’m a loyal person who works hard to achieve goals and fulfill promises. And if that starts to feel lugubrious, I crack a joke. Humor is cathartic. Most people look at my scholarly work and are surprised to learn how much I love to laugh. Few things are better for the soul than laughter. Loyalty and laughter. That’s the ‘About’ I want people to know.”
Chris Thurber by the Numbers
The numbers tell the story. Dr. Thurber has been involved in independent schools since 1988. In those 24 years, he has taught everything from elementary school French to senior citizen swimming. He now teaches Introduction to Psychology at Phillips Exeter Academy, a private coeducational boarding school in seacoast New Hampshire. Dr. Thurber joined the faculty at PEA in 1999 after a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Seattle.
Taking the ACA Keynote Not-So-Seriously, 2003
Dr. Thurber has been involved in camps for 40 years. He attended three different day camps between the ages of 4 and 11, including Ledgemere Day Camp in Cape Elizabeth, Maine and Portland Sports Camp. In 1980, he spent his first two-week session at YMCA Camp Belknap. This summer will be his 34th at Belknap, where he now serves as waterfront director and senior staff member.
“Schools, families, and camps are symbiotic,” says Dr. Thurber. “It’s no surprise that the first camps were created by professional educators…progressive men and women who were looking for a powerful complement to traditional classroom education. Now, more than 150 years later, there is a renewed understanding of the importance of active learning and exposure to nature. I’m glad to see that the rest of the world is discovering what camp directors and progressive educators have known for years.”