To Help People At All Times

10465417_10154287984075338_4733251711735683793_oTomorrow is the last day of Camp for us for a while. 

It will be the conclusion of my 9th year leading the Canoe station at Prairie Hill Day Camp. If you count the year I shadowed Moose, then it would be 10 years.  Plus a couple years I came before that as just a Dad.

But this story is not really about my time at camp. And, unlike the past 50 posts here and on Facebook, it is not about Anna either. 🙂 Although she has been at camp for a long time also.

This time it is the real brains and power behind day camp….Michelle, I mean Sprinkle.

She has been at camp longer than me.  Worked in Pee Wees when Luke was little. Then shadowed a year with Beenie and Yoda.  Tinkle and Sprinkle ran the show for a couple years, and then Sprinkle organized 500+ people for a couple years by herself.

Then Lipstick came forward and it has been the Sprinkle and Lipstick show since then.  This is Lipstick’s last year also. Along with Bullseye, Sparky, and Scooby Dee. It has been a fun ride. 

The camp has gone from stuffing envelopes and mailing confirmations to campers from our basement to now where the process is all online. It has gone from working on crazy schedules trying to get swimming and canoe to share time at the Pond every day at Camp1044610_10151688864060901_495590608_n Winding River to now having all the beach space we need to run both stations at the same time at Camp Pottawatomie Hills. Even the bus pick up has changed.

During this time the weather has pretty much been spectacular with just a handful of rain days and a couple episodes of lightning. Did I mention that we lost power for 7 plus hours this year on Monday night? We have even celebrated our wedding anniversary more than once at camp.

The amount of time and effort I have seen Sprinkle put in the months leading up to camp, while still working full time, is just amazing. She attends the Directors meetings once a month. She responds to email at all hours of the day. She thinks about Camp so much that it even gets in her dreams. You will have to ask her about that one.

She deflects the praise and recognition all of the time. Sprinkle will tell you that she has good people in the right places and that is why camp runs smoothly. Or, that she gets great support from Velma at the GS Office. She is the epitome of a Team Culture when it comes to camp. That is what a great leader does.

Sprinkle does it because she loves camp and what the Girls Scouts do for the community in building strong female leaders.  This is her “fun job”.  

I know the rest of the people stepping down this year do it for similar reasons as Sprinkle, it just happens that I see it up close each day and night. 

As she said in the program guide, “It’s hard work, but my favorite memories are “camping” with the girls and adult volunteers. I’ve made so many lifelong friends. It’s amazing to unplug and be surrounded by my wonderful camp family all week once a year.”

Thanks Michelle for being an outstanding leader and role model not only for our children but for all of the future leaders. We love you!!

Anticipation is the Hardest Part

Last year I wrote this post after a great year of Girl Scout Day Camp.  And now we are less than a week to go before camp starts again.

Training of the Program Assistants is complete.  I was just re certified in Canoe Safety over the weekend.  All that I really need to do before Sunday, is to pack, get my extra equipment ready, and make sure I have the right snacks for my program area.

Ohhh, and to support the Day Camp Director during the last crazy week.  If you have ever been married to a Day Camp Director before, you know what I mean.   I am sure that Michelle goes through this during swim season when I get closer and closer to Sectionals and State.

You see, once camp starts, the hard work is complete.  The easy part is making sure everyone is enjoying camp.  But the week(s) leading up to 500+ people covering 20 plus acres of land is far from stress free.  The list of things that still need to be done seems to go one forever.  The email messages keep streaming in.  The phone calls are more and more frequent.  And the software application on her laptop never seems to work the way it should.

We just need to make it til Sunday and then the fun begins.

I miss Camp

I posted the title on my Facebook page this morning, and the first response was that I was weird.  But it is true that I do already miss Girl Scout camp.

I am often asked why I go to camp.

Is it because my wife is the Day Camp Director and runs a camp that may be on any given day over 500+ people on the grounds?  Did I mention it is largest volunteer run Girl Scout Camp in the nation?  This is not really why, but it does make it a great week of family fun.

Is it because I have extra vacation time and need to burn it up before I lose it?  Not really, but I am blessed to have a boss and company that really does understand the value of a strong community, and that volunteering in said community is important.

It is because I really do not believe that there are enough opportunities for young women to make a difference and to have leadership roles.  This year I worked with 4 of the 114 Program Assistants (PA’s) that range from kids going into 7th grade to kids finishing 12th grade.  It was a great experience to see them work together and to help younger Girl Scouts understand the finer points of canoeing.  It is also part of the reason I coach High School swimming.  I just want to make sure that there are situations in life that allow young women to make choices on how they can be Strong Leaders in the world going forward.

Next year my daughter will be a first year PA.  I am sure she is excited for that as much as I am.

And I cannot wait for Camp next year.