Camille Thomas

by Feb 15, 2022Idaho-ology

Camille Thomas

Note: This is one in a series of spotlights on MOI staff members who have been named a “Keefer Fellow,” a monthly program aimed at recognizing staffers for their contributions to the museum and the community. This month, our Development Assistant and first point of contact for our beloved museum members. [Note: This profile was written in 2021. Camille became Director of Marketing in October 2023.]

Q: Explain what you do at the museum in 20 words or less.

Camille: I focus on development & sustainability, brainstorming/creating ways to raise funds & promote membership with Kim. Liaison to member base.

Q: What’s a museum-related accomplishment that you’re particularly proud of?

Camille: I organized an online silent auction for the Museum Inside Out Gala in 2021 which was highly successful thanks to the help of generous donors, the counsel of the Director of Development, Kim Lee, and my boyfriend Clay who volunteered his photography skills. We raised over $9,000 from the silent auction alone that night.

Q: What do you do for fun?

Camille: I enjoy meandering in nature—looking for animal tracks, skipping rocks, stepping on crunchy leaves, & enjoying the sunset.

Q: What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this (and if money were no object)?

Camille: I’d love to be a film curator for an art theater. It would be cool to restore a historic building & run my own theater & cocktail lounge in it, too.

Q: What’s the weirdest / most interesting past job you’ve had?

Camille: Let’s go with the weirdest. During my freshman year of college, I worked at PetSmart in the Pet Care Department. I knew nothing of fish, rodents, reptiles, & birds but “faked it till I made it”. I had to administer meds to the sick animals & was especially terrified of getting bitten by testy hamsters & one nefarious parrot. Every day I would have to “collect the dead”, which meant getting a large net & collecting dozens of dead fish from the 84 fish tanks at our store. I also had to scoop crickets out of a large container for customers.

Q: Name a setback in your life that has ended up being a good thing.

Camille: Not getting accepted into my dream school straight out of high school. I ended up going the community college route for my general ed & prerequisites, which saved me thousands of dollars. I eventually was accepted into said dream school when I reapplied, got a hefty academic merit scholarship, & had the best time ever. I definitely feel like fate steered me in the right direction.

Q: What’s something – large or small, useful or not – that you’re really good at?

Camille: I am pretty good at art. I am trained in oil painting, but am such a lazy artist that I never finish anything I start, so I mostly doodle nowadays.

Q: What were you like in high school?

Camille: A busy bee & social butterfly. I was a very studious go-getter with a crippling fear of getting anything less than an A on my report card.

Q: What’s your favorite book, movie, and TV show?

Camille: My favorite book is Candide by Voltaire. I also love Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince.

Favorite movie is a tough one, I don’t really have a favorite. I love retro horror films, so maybe The Church (1989) by Dario Argento or The Wicker Man (1973).

As for my favorite TV show, I am absolutely obsessed with Attack on Titan (& anime in general). I am also chomping at the bit for the next season of The Last Kingdom.

Q: Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

Camille: I have a background in anthropology & archiving. A dream of mine is to create an ethnographic film about graffiti/street art, or bumper stickers. I have my own photo archive of bumper stickers & graffiti/street art that I’ve cultivated over the past 5 years, with most of the collection hailing from Los Angeles, Berkeley, San Francisco, & Seattle. One graffiti photo collection I’m particularly fond of is titled “Dumpster Art.” I know, random.