Camp had a special visitor during our Boys Camp session.

Colonel Sheryl Williams, along with her 13-year-old son, Zeke, spent a day at camp recounting old memories, participating in the end of camp Carnival, and sharing her story with our Leadership campers.

Sheryl herself was a 1979 Leadership graduate. Since her time at Sherwood Forest, Sheryl has enjoyed an illustrious career. She currently works in the US Justice Department, holds a Juris Doctorate and with two Masters Degrees, served as a Judge Advocate for the US Marine Corps for 28 years, was the first African American female Judge Advocate to achieve the rank of Colonel in the corps, and much more.

Sheryl’s visit to camp came just a few months after being recognized as Sherwood Forest’s first recipient of the Spirit of the Fire Award, which recognizes former Sherwood Forest campers who have grown up and are now extraordinary examples of doing good in the world. The award is named after a part of Sherwood Forest’s longest standing tradition, the Closing Council Fire, which has been passed down through the generations at camp, unchanged. The ceremony begins with a spark and the voice of the Spirit of the Fire, which encompasses the three spirits that guide all we do at camp, the spirits of Friendship, Cooperation, and Learning.

During her visit, Sheryl spoke with our Leadership campers about her accomplishments and how the lessons she learned at Sherwood Forest helped her along the way. Sheryl focused on the Spirits of the Fire and how they can guide you outside of camp. She shared that to her, Friendship means Relationship Building, meeting new people, and appreciating diversity. Cooperation means collaborating which includes interacting well with others and allowing people to contribute meaningfully to projects. It’s important to be a life-long learner and never stop learning.

“I was once one of those Leadership Campers, and I am eternally grateful that I had the opportunity to “grow up” with Sherwood Forest,” remarked Sheryl.

We are grateful that Sheryl was able to visit and inspire our campers to apply the lessons they learn at camp to achieve great things.

Read Sheryl’s full bio:

Sheryl is a 1979 graduate of Sherwood Forest’s Leadership Training Program. She currently works in the US Justice Department. Previously, she worked in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Transportation, was the first Special Counsel Law Employment Advisor where she oversaw all employment and various legal matters, served in the office of General Council for the Navy and worked as a Judge Advocate for the US Marine Corps for 28 years. She is the first African American female judge advocate to achieve the rank of Colonel in the Corps. She is also the first female selected to serve as the Deputy Director Judge Advocate Division/Commanding Officer Reserve Legal Support, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, U.S. Marine Corps.

Sheryl holds a BA in Sociology from Cornell College, a Juris Doctor Degree from Washington University School of Law, a Master of Laws Degree from the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School; and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

Sheryl is a staunch advocate for children and serves as a volunteer to ensure that public school students have access to afterschool STEM and foreign language activities.