June 30, 2018
Camp is the combination of a remarkable combination of talents, skills and personalities.
We start with the campers – they are the reason we are here and they imbue camp with laughter and meaning.
Next, we think about the wonderful counselors. They provide the love and the fun each day. The Division Leaders, Department Heads and Directors supply a combination of supervision and diversion.
There are also dozens of people that your children may spend essentially no time with, but they are critical to keeping camp safe and healthy. They include our office team, the kitchen staff, our maintenance crew, the housekeeping group and our nurses.
But there is one job that has no close substitute: the camp dog.
The job of camp dog sounds easy, but there is more to it than you might initially guess. For example, you do not want a dog that is too excitable or hyperactively playful. Picture a camper who is scared of dogs being chased by one – the dog thinks they are playing chase, the camper knows they are not. That is a ruff situation.
You also need a dog that is incredibly affectionate. Campers greatly outnumber the camp dog. Even if only 10% of campers want to greet and pet the dog, it needs to be ready to absorb that adoration. Think “petting sponge”.
Finally, it really helps if the dog has lost any sense of dignity. The dog dresses up for the camp dances and this can be quite silly. A proud dog might fight this.
Luckily, we have a dog without a hint of pride or dignity.
Our camp dog is Dodger Ma’am. She is a basset hound that is 1) very mellow, 2) affectionate to the point of being almost needy, 3) not very bright, and 4) so tolerant that I would call her malleable.
So this blog is a salute to embarrassed canines at camps across the country. This paws for you!