June 16, 2014
I am a very lucky man.
As my parents (and brothers and sister and friends) are all quick to point out, I have married over my head.
My mother once told me to “marry for disposition”. “Beauty will fade, physical intimacy will become less important, wit can become sardonic and intelligence does not make you smile. A great disposition will make every day a little lighter – a little more joyous.
If a great disposition makes for a great spouse, it is also critical to making an excellent camp director. Susie has wonderful patience with our leadership team and the counselors. She sees each of them as capable of great judgment and compassion and she communicates that to them. Doing so brings out the best in them.
She is even more happy to spend time with the campers. I am so impressed to see how quickly she comes to know all the girl campers and how easily she chats with them. She brings a playful motherliness to each interaction that helps the campers feel loved and appreciated. She is a hero on the girl’s side.
But she is also involved in helping children beyond Camp Champions. She has been on the board of the Marble Falls Boys and Girls Club. She was a major participant in the Healthy Camp Study with the American Camp Association. She speaks at conferences and advises younger camp directors. The Texas Partnership for Out of School Time named her to an advisory board.
Earlier this year, the Texas Education Agency Commissioner Michael Williams named her as one of 13 people to serve on the newly created Expanded Learning Opportunity (ELO) Council. This group is charged to “prepare policy recommendations and a report to the Texas Governor and Texas Legislature by November 1, 2014.” We are excited about this council and hope that it will help Texas craft experiences that help children grow in a wide variety of ways beyond simply academics.
In short, Camp Champions and I are doing very well with Susie Ma’am.
PS I do want to share two comments from young boy campers about Susie. When asked “who is the camp mom?” one 9 year-old declared “Susie Sunshine”.
That is better than the answer we got last year from an 8 year-old. A counselor was pointing at our home and asked his cabin “who lives there?” The answer: “That’s Steve Sir’s house . . . and the woman that lives with him.”