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!!

And the Year is Done

Today is the last day of school.  Last Day of Anna being a high school student, and last day of Luke being a Freshman. It was a great school year for both while fun watching the both grow away from each other as much as they grew together. Something about a 15-minute car ride each day that will do it for siblings.

Graduation is Saturday and while Anna is receiving her diploma, Luke will be in the choir singing.

And then it is a busy summer with camp, orientation, wisdom teeth out, and mission trip for Anna.  This while Luke is headed to morning practices for a swim, Camp Trotier, and the same mission trip with Anna.

Bring on Summer! It is going to be Fantastic!

It Has Been a Great Ride

Then the clock reached the 90th minute, marking the end of the game. The end of the season. And the end of a high school athletic career.

We LOVED watching you play.

Being a high school athlete is not easy. Being one in the Classic 8 Conference adds another level of difficulty. A scholar athlete, yet another piece of complexity. Having your Dad be the Coach for half of the year adds more. Coming back from surgery to a part of your body required to succeed in both sports just adds to it.  But you did it.

We LOVED watching you play.

You were able to have great coaches in your life that molded, mentored, encouraged, challenged, assisted, took chances, made you expand your horizons. Coach Worzella, Coach Perugini, Coach Hauser, and Coach Ksobiech in soccer. Then on the swim side, it was the holy trinity of female coaches with Coach Sarah, Coach Jordon, and Coach Elle. Not sure what we would have done all four years without them.

We LOVED watching you play.

We had a series of ups and downs over the past four years. And I learned as season 2 was going on that I wanted to be your Dad at meets when you swam. We hardly disagreed on what was best for the team or for you during that time. You were Captain for 2 seasons but in reality had it figured out what makes a team click after freshman season. That was your leadership coming out.

We LOVED watching you play.

Many things we could not have predicted would happen.  Your coach swimming you in JV your first high school meet because he was not sure what was going to happen – it was the 200 IM. Having your first prom as a Sophmore on your birthday after two soccer games that were over an hour away. Most would not have handled that as well as you did. Hating butterfly moved to being a love and a key to breaking the school record and going to State twice. Tearing your ACL and recovering mentally and physically from it. Being named Prom Queen after being told you did not need to wear your brace a couple days earlier. A tough senior swim season not being at 100 percent leading to being named Female Athlete of the Year. Making 17 saves in one game and then a PK the next. There is more. But these jump out as things that we will always keep in the front of our minds.

We LOVED watching you play.

We took a ton of pictures with the new camera. And more with our iPhones. You have some of the best senior pictures ever with your sports shots. Thanks Jason!!  

We created a ton of memories. We had some pretty awesome talks about life. We had a ton of laughs mixed in with some tears. We had a pretty good run at this student-athlete thing. And if Thursday is the last time you lace up your cleats or put the goggles on competitively, we just want you to remember one thing….

We LOVED watching you play.