“They call me the kangaroo whisperer…”
Camille Goblet was born the fourth of four girls in Brussels, Belgium on January 10, 1992. She was welcomed by her parents, Anne and Bernard, along with her sisters, Alex, LA and Celine. As the fourth child, Camille quickly developed a strong and independent personality. She was wise beyond her years and often acted more mature than her older sisters. She didn’t fall for many of the typical “youngest sibling” tactics such as “go get my shoes upstairs, I’ll time you” or “you have to ask mom if we can do (insert absurd request) because you’re the youngest”. Although we did convince her once to do the “gallon challenge” with a gallon of milk- we’ll spare you the details on that one. Cam was always a good sport, and she generally just went with the flow. As we got older and our relationships became more than just sisters, Camille was the one we could look to for witty comments, insightful advice, thought-provoking discussions, and just an overall good time.
When Camille was about 1, the Goblet family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, which is where she remained until college. Growing up in Kansas City, Camille developed strong childhood friendships and fostered them throughout her life. She often spoke of her most cherished childhood memories: running around Old Pike, a summer pool that her family belonged to, with “the brat pack”. The brat pack was made up of Katie, Sawyer, Davis, Victor, Grant and Camille. They were inseparable every summer and traveled together on yearly float trips and ski trips, creating a very special bond between them. As they got older, adulthood distanced them apart, but their special bond never ceased. They continued to appreciate one another, and they were there for each other through ups and downs. The brat pack says Camille was the leader of the pack, always planning get togethers and often reaching out when she sensed someone needed a shoulder to lean on.
Camille’s love for science and animals evolved from an early age. She attended NASA space camp with Katie four summers in a row, completing all four levels of the Future Astronaut Training Program at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, KS. She started volunteering at an animal shelter, Wayside Waifs, when she was 16. It was there that on June 17, 2009, she adopted her dearest friend Basil; a cute, wire-haired mutt who was by Cam’s side through many adventures.
Camille’s high school years at St. Pius X are where she really began to excel academically and in athletics. She was top of her class, earning her the title of valedictorian her senior year, and she was a member of the National Honors Society all four years. She was a standout athlete, playing varsity volleyball, swimming, and track and field. In volleyball, she led her team to district championships representing St. Pius for the Missouri team. Cam was a team player and a leader. She was often looked up to by younger teammates and served as a powerful role model.
After high school, Camille made the decision to leave Missouri to attend Oregon State University where she studied Zoology and Animal Biology. She was quick to adapt to college and life away from home. She became good friends with Collette (Co) and Beth, cousins who accepted Cam as one of their own. They roomed together and shared many fun times as they each navigated the joys and challenges that come with college. During these years, Camille was always encouraging them to stay true to themselves, especially during pivotal times of growth. It was also during this time that Camille developed a passion for running, which eventually expanded to triathlons, half marathons, marathons, and she eventually became a certified fitness instructor. The summer after her first year at OSU, Camille set off on her own to South Africa. She worked on the Game Reserve – a “big five” (lions, leopards, black rhinos, elephants, and buffalos) reserve, at Kruger National Park.
In 2013, her senior year, Camille studied abroad in Perth, Australia. From bungee jumping to traveling solo with a guide through the forests of Thailand, Camille’s love for adventure and new experiences only expanded as she continued on with her undergraduate degree. After graduation, she returned to South Africa for a few months, and then lived with her friend Alanna, who she met in Perth, in Barcelona for one year.
After living in Barcelona, Camille obtained an internship at the St. Louis Zoo, a leading zoo in animal management, research, conservation, and education. During this time, she lived with one of her older sisters, Celine, who was also living in St. Louis. From there, she started exploring graduate school options and the all-consuming graduate school application process. Her hard work again paid off and Camille was accepted to study biomedical science at Texas A&M. She became a published author, which is an incredible achievement for someone so young. Cam became good friends with Ashley while living in College Station, Texas and she continued teaching fitness classes, waking up early in the mornings to motivate others to put themselves and their health first.
Camille finished her master’s degree in June of 2018. At this time, she was awarded the 2018 Jacquemin Family Foundation Fellowship for pursuit of her PhD at George Mason University in the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation to work on genetic analysis of the wild black rhino subpopulation. It was around this time that Camille started dating her life partner Max Stewart, who lives in Denver. The couple bonded over their love for dogs, friendship, good food, travel, and The Office. Both a couple and best friends, Camille and Max’s commitment to each other allowed their relationship to thrive for over 3 years while being long distance. At the end of the summer Cam once again packed up her things and moved to the DC area to begin her PhD studies.