Where Are They Now: Sophia Elliott

Meet Sophia Elliott, a Fuller alum making a difference

Hi! My name is Sophia Elliott, I am a proud Camp Fuller alumnus, attending from 2004-2017 as both a camper and staff member. In 2017, I finally retired my gorgeous staff polo to join the “real world” as a freshly minted law student with a fading lifejacket tan. I have since graduated from NYU School of Law and will be joining the Women’s Law Project in Philadelphia as a Fellow.

Sophia Elliott in Philadelphia

I often get questions from aspiring law students about how to spruce up their applications to appear professional by the age of 20. The truth is: I have always boasted about Camp Fuller in “professional” interviews, and my experience at camp remains fundamental to my career.

Not to be too cheesy, but Camp Fuller is a ripe bounty each summer: it’s full of inexhaustibly delicious fruits that await harvesting. (And no, I’m not talking about the cucumbers or chicken patties growing in the camp garden).  I’m talking about how Fuller nourishes and offers growth. Every child and counselor is encouraged to take from this bounty what she needs. With each summer, I indulged a bit more of what Camp Fuller had to offer. The first few summers I found the confidence to come out of my shell, making joyous friendships that have lasted decades. In later years, I took a sense of fierce independence from Fuller’s crop, enabling me to be away from home for months. And as I grew older, I poured that dual sense of community and independence into my campers—many of whom have gone on to become camp leaders themselves.  

Sophia and camp friends enjoying a winter day at Fuller

I have a memory in the old boathouse that always comes to mind when I think about my path to progressive legal advocacy. It was my first summer working as a lifeguard under a fearless Sailmaster, Margot Elmaleh. A session into the summer, Margot pulled me aside and told me that she knew I was a capable sailor but I wasn’t so confident. I thought: I mean, I can drift along in light wind… but is that enough to become a sailing instructor? After all, my bowline knots morph into slip knots most of the time. But Margot gave me the confidence to practice skippering with help from other instructors. By the end of the summer, I knew I could be sailing staff in addition to a lifeguard. I even learned how to tie a bowline. Tree, rabbit, hole. See? Still got it.

A Kodak Moment in Windsurfing

I share this particular story because embarking on a legal career stirred up similar feelings of self-doubt. Sometimes, I have trouble speaking up in a (still) male-dominated profession. Camp Fuller taught me to courageously enter those spaces, taking what I need to nurture my growth. I will continue to advocate for myself and others throughout my career, and I am lucky to have my camp family cheering me on. Hmm, I guess I was hungry while writing this… I’ll have to drop by the mess hall for a bite of fruit!  Thank you, Camp Fuller, for your abundance.