At this moment, I am airborne on my way to Chicago for the board meeting of the American Camp Association (ACA).

I am particularly excited about this meeting because it gives me a chance to honor Scott Brody. Scott is a fellow camp director and my best friend in the world of summer camp.

He and I both started in the professional worlds – he as a lawyer and me as an investment banker. Our friendship, however, stems not from our background. Instead, we have discovered that we are perhaps the two most ardent “Camp Geeks” around. [Note: Susie Ma’am says that it is not even close – we are WAAAY geeky!] By Camp Geek, I mean that we not only love our own camps, but we also spend our volunteer time either working with the ACA or with projects to increase the diversity of camps. We also think it is fun to visit camps, meet other camp directors and study the history of camps. Perhaps most geeky is the fact that we actually enjoy ready books and research about Youth Development, Education, Parenting and Cognitive Development.

Yep, pretty geeky.

But I think I must concede that Scott might be Geek Numero Uno. Or, more accurately, the Lead Geek. He has helped recruit me for many of the volunteer projects I have done. He chaired the Tri-State Camp Conference (the largest gathering of camp professionals in the world) for 3 years and persuaded me to join the program committee. He would later persuade me to follow in his footsteps and serve as Chair myself. After my stint there, he pulled me onto the national board of the ACA. We now both serve on its Executive Committee.

At least, we will serve on it until he steps down this week.

He has served for 9 years on the board and consistently brought passion and insight to every meeting. He has helped us better understand the impact of a quality camp experience.

Worry not, he is not fading in his projects. We are part of a group of camp professionals who are studying the impact of camp on 1) college readiness, 2) character development and 3) workplace development. OK, that sounds boring, but trust me – we are really excited about the upcoming projects. I will share more about each later, but know that they are pretty cool.

I share this with you simply because I think we often take excellence for granted. Also, we are too slow to publicly thank those who do extraordinary work.

I have always loved rehearsal dinners for weddings. They are a time that we consciously tell people who we love that they are special to us and celebrate their gifts. This blog is simply an effort to do that for my friend.

Steve Sir