July 14, 2021
After several heavier blogs, I want to have a simple expression of appreciation.
I truly like and admire the people I get to work with!
An odd fact of life is that we often focus on what is not working and take for granted what is wonderful. For example, we might bemoan a storm that makes us reschedule 2 hours of activities but forget to celebrate the fact that we have not had a day over 95 degrees since June 25 and only 6 over 93 degrees.
I might notice the extra lost and found festooned on the ground and miss the ecstatic games that led to the mess in the first place.
One clear example of our good fortune that I consider a true blessing is the opportunity to work with young people who are positive, committed and fun. Each of our counselors could be working less and making more this summer, but they are not here to start a fortune. They are here to make a difference and to join a community. They strive to change the lives of our kiddos and they revel in a group that is joined by hugs and not social media posts.
The group Susie Ma’am and I work closest with is the Leadership Team. This consists of 25 individuals (plus a few full-timers) who are our Directors, Division Leaders, Department Heads and Specialists. They arrive before everyone else and are the backbone of camp. They coach and manage counselors, oversee activities and act as human shock-absorbers for the vagaries of camp.
When we need to make last-minute program changes (from weather or other scheduling conflicts), they are the ones that make the plans and assure their execution.
Every morning, we meet in our house to go over all the areas of camp and talk about the campers/counselors/cabins that need a little extra love or supervision.
They are my cabin.
They are also the reason that I seem to forget that I am as (what word should I use here?) seasoned as I am actually am. I might feel like I am 56 many days, but far less so when with this group of devoted individuals.
One of the tricky parts of camp is its intensity – we are going 16 hours/day for 70 days (84 when you include counselor orientation). It would be much easier if we had days off in the middle of the summer, but the summer is short and we want to make the most out of it. Nevertheless, you find yourself tired at times. The best cure for me is to see this group gather every morning, ready for the next challenge.
I would like to think that Susie Ma’am and I are inspirations to them, but they are easily as inspirational to us.
It is a blessing to work with them.
PS The photo is in our Conference Room with some very amateuristic renditions of the team. I share them not for their aesthetic value, but as evidence that they really like each other. BTW, “Duffy” Sir is the head of Ropes.