Director Q and A with Jake Gallo

Jake-Gallo

Recently, we launched our “Director Q and A” series with Camp Director’s Jonathan Isaac and Julia Garisto. Today, we introduce our Multi-Sport Program Director, Jake Gallo!

1. Hi Jake. Tell us about yourself. Give us your 60-second elevator pitch….

My name is Jake and I’m 28 years old, although 93.4% of people I know either call me Gallo or Mr. Gallo. I’ve been teaching Physical Education and Geography in high schools across the TDSB for over 6 years, and now find myself at Northern S.S. where I coach volleyball and baseball.  I’m currently the pitching coach for the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, which is where I spent 5 years studying Physical and Health Education as well as completing my Bachelor of Education. I’ve been at NTBC for 7 short years, both as a counsellor and as Elite Camp Director, and could not be more excited about Multi-Sport this upcoming summer! Other essential must-knows: I have a viciously loud finger snap, opening milk cartons is a major weakness of mine, and if couch napping or catching thrown moving grapes in my mouth were turned into a competition, I’d win.

2. Why do you like working at summer camps?

I could not think of a better way to spend my time off in the summer than working at camp. Being able to interact with so many different kids as well as staff everyday through sport is a very rewarding experience. The fact that you’re outside all day, and you can yell as loud as you want and it won’t be weird makes it that much more fun!

3. How has working at summer camps helped you as a teacher?

Working at camp and specifically at NTBC has been incredibly helpful for me as a teacher. Standing in front of 35 Gr. 9 students and giving a lesson sometimes isn’t easy, especially when I first started out. My experience at camp however has given me a ton of confidence, and most importantly provided me with an outstanding gym voice.

4. What was it like playing in the Intercounty Baseball League vs. playing for the University of Toronto? What advice would you give someone who is considering playing in each league?

Both the IBL and OUA are very competitive baseball leagues, and I enjoyed my time playing for both UofT as well as the Maple Leafs/Baycats. The OUA is a very quick, whirlwind of a season filled with many double-headers, weekend bus trips, and stops at Wendy’s. The IBL season is definitely more spread out over the course of 5 months but just as packed as you’re facing high level University players and ex-pro’s up to 3 or 4 times a week. The number 1 thing I would say to someone playing in either league is to take care of your arm and your body. Baseball and pitching specifically is one of the most strenuous activities for your body, and if you don’t take care of yourself it can be a very long summer/fall.

5. You’ve played for a number of teams over the years, including U of T and Toronto Maple Leafs. Which was the most talented team and which team did you have the most fun playing for?

When I was playing up in Barrie in the IBL I was able to play with guys like Paul Spoljaric and Todd Betts, a couple of former pro’s who I was able to learn a lot from. In terms of having the most fun, pitching for UofT definitely sticks out along with my current team, the East York Bulldogs.

6. What is your most memorable accomplishment as a player? 

My most memorable accomplishment came in my 5th year pitching for UofT. We were playing at Laurier and I was coming off shoulder (rotator cuff and labrum reconstruction) surgery, and making my first start since the injury. I remember having a terrible warmup, but ended up throwing a no-hitter, one walk shy of a perfect game.

7. Who is your favourite athlete?

Roy Halladay has always been a role model for me because of his incredible work ethic and professionalism, but if we’re talking about a current athlete I have to go with the bringer of rain, Josh Donaldson.

8. What is your favourite sports movie?

Remember the Titans is a classic, but I have to give an honourable shout out to The Sandlot.

9. If you could have lunch with any 3 people, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Babe Ruth, Will Ferrell, and Levi simply because that would be the best day of my life.

10. If you could order any lunch to camp, what would it be?

I’m torn between Black Camel and California Sandwiches…probably just both at the same time.

11. What is your favourite concert you’ve ever attended?

Dave Matthews Band at Madison Square Gardens in NYC.

12. Who’s your favourite super hero?

Batman, but only the Val Kilmer version.

13. When you put ketchup on your fries: on top or on the side?

On the side is the safe choice, but I prefer to put it underneath.

14. Is a hotdog a sandwich?

I just asked Siri, and she says no, according to an official press release from the National Hot Dog and Sausage council. But I disagree with her: If there is meat in between bread, and you have the option of adding toppings, it must be a sandwich. I will now start calling them hot dog sandwiches, and my hope is that one day everyone will accept this, no questions asked.

15. Why is True North Multi-Sport camp going to be so amazing?

True North Multi-Sport will be incredible because of the amazing staff, activities, and absolutely crazy fun we’re going to have day in and day out. No kid is going to want to miss out on the dozens of sports and games we’re going to play and take part in. There is no doubt in my mind that it will be your favorite week all summer!

 

Courtney Berger
Courtney has been involved in True North Sports Camps for several years behind the scenes. She is responsible for overseeing the operations of the business, including hiring and training our staff, marketing, communications, finance and strategy. After having worked at a number of summer camps in the past and dedicated her free time to volunteering with children, Courtney knows what it takes to create a memorable experience for each and every camper.