'Camp Getaway's Dr. Monica Talks Transition From Normal Person To Reality Star — And Reveals Which 'Housewife' Came To Camp

- Camp Getaway -
'Camp Getaway's Dr. Monica Talks Transition From Normal Person To Reality Star — And Reveals Which 'Housewife' Came To Camp

When Dr. Monica O’Neal first went to an adult summer camp session at Camp Getaway — back in 2010 – she was nervous that it was going to feel like walking into the cafeteria on your first day at a new middle school. Thankfully, it was the exact opposite. Everybody was like, “‘Oh my God. Come sit here. Have a seat here,'” she tells me. These camp strangers poured her wine and before she knew it, “I was like, ‘Oh my God. Where am I? Who are these people?'” she says with a laugh. “From the earliest moment, you just are welcomed in with open arms, and it’s just so much fun.”

Camp Getaway is a 300-acre summer camp on a lake in Kent, Conn. It offers your regular children’s summer camp programs during the week, but on the weekend, the big kids — a.k.a. adults — come out to play. Hundreds of adult campers arrive Friday evening and leave Sunday afternoon and while they’re there, they enjoy all that a top-tier summer camp has to offer, but with booze, and Bravo reality TV cameras, too.

Camp Getaway is Bravo’s newest reality show and it follows the drama that unfolds during these adult summer camp sessions. Dr. Monica is one of eight social coordinators around whom the show is centered. Social coordinators are essentially weekend staffers at camp who are there to make sure the campers have a great time and most of all, feel included.

Dr. Monica at Camp Getaway. (Photo by: Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo)

Dr. Monica — who’s a Harvard-trained clinical psychologist in Boston Monday through Friday — had been a camper for several years, but in 2017, she accepted a position as a social coordinator. To go from carefree camper to having a job with responsibilities wasn’t an easy decision, though, obviously.

“I was like, ‘I go there because I have a good time. I don’t know if I want to work. I like to drink!” she laughs. “I don’t want to be up at 8:00 a.m.!” Eventually, a friend convinced her to go for it, and of course, she loves being a social coordinator. “All the fun that I’d had as a camper exploded. It just exponentially went through the roof, the fun that I have as a social coordinator there,” she says.

In case you’re wondering, some of that “fun” the social coordinators can have does involve dating. In the trailer, we see Dr. Monica make out with someone. (“I didn’t realize that was me at first, but yeah. I will neither confirm or deny that,” she says.)

She goes on: “Listen, we can hook up with whomever we want to. That’s one of the other best things about being in our role, not being on full-time staff, but instead being the weekend people. We come in and we can really enjoy ourselves with whomever, within reason, and with a certain level of respect,” she says. “But yeah, there’s no restrictions when it comes to that.”

Dr. Monica with David Schreiber. (Photo by: Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo)

It’s that free-spirit attitude that makes Camp Getaway a prime choice for reality TV. When she heard that the camp was getting its own Bravo show, her reaction was, “It’s about time!” she tells me. She had been asking David Schreiber, the camp’s owner and director, for years as to why they hadn’t done a reality show. “These people are crazy!” she says. “No shit, it’s the best place in the world to do the show.”

Dr. Monica knows what it’s like to be at camp without the cameras, and their arrival took some getting used to. It was intense, she says and “by midday, sometimes I was tapped out and needed some quiet time to myself.”

“I’m going to tell you,” she continues. “Nothing prepares you for when you wake up in the morning, half out of it, and there’s a camera in your face.” Changing in the bunk, where there are cameras stationed 24/7, also made her a little uneasy. “I’m like, ‘Oh my God. I don’t want to be on TV in a bra!'” she says. “It’s that kind of stuff. But otherwise, the production staff was so respectful, they were so cool. They were actually fun to work with.”

(Photo by: Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo)

The Bravo production crew weren’t the only other Bravo employees there… Real Housewives of New York cast member Dorinda Medley and her boyfriend John Mahdessian went to Camp Getaway before it was Camp Getaway. “It was crazy!” Dr. Monica says. She was working as a social coordinator at the time. “They weren’t there for the entire weekend because it was a long weekend,” she says, “but they were at the party. John was on the flyboard. It was fun.” John on a flyboard is something I need to see.

Dr. Monica is excited about being a part of the Bravo family — she loves the Housewives and Vanderpump Rules, just like the rest of us — and wouldn’t be opposed to a Bravo-man reaching out to her on social media, just like the rest of us. “Since I’m single, I can’t wait to see who slides into my DMs,” she says. I tell her that it will probably be Carl Radke from Summer House or Max Boyens from Vanderpump.

“Let’s raise the stakes a little bit,” she deadpans. Dr. Monica, you’re not wrong.

Camp Getaway airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on Bravo.

Read more about the Camp Getaway cast:

Feature Image: Bravo Media

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