Category Archives: Girl Scout Camp

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!!


For Good Instead of Evil

honor pinThese past couple weeks I have used the expression “Using my powers for Good instead of Evil” more than a couple of times when talking to friends. It came up with co-workers, coaching buddies, and church members.

Yesterday in the mail, Michelle received a letter from the Girl Scout office.  Enclosed was a letter informing her that she is going to receive the Honor Pin.

Not knowing exactly what the award signifies, I went online to check it out.  From sources on line from various Girl Scouts of America council websites I was able to determine a couple of things:

  • The second highest award in Girl Scouting for volunteers
  • The service performed by the candidate is above and beyond the expectations for the position held, and has
    made an impact on a geographic area within the council’s jurisdiction
  • In Milwaukee, you need three letters of recommendation
  • Because you are nominated, you usually do not know that you are going to be up for the award or receive the award until you are notified

The process leading up to the award started long ago when Anna started in Daises and had progressed all the way to now being Day Camp Co-Director for one of the largest volunteer led camps in the state of Wisconsin.

A great honor for a really great person.  Using her powers for Good instead of Evil.

That is what it is all about!


Liebster Award

Yay! I have been nominated by my friend Dana Wielgus, or as I like to call her, Dana Northstar, to receive a Liebster Award!

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This award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers by other bloggers. It’s a way to publicize & promote your blog, gain more activity on your site, and overall acknowledge your fellow bloggers’ awesomeness, despite the lower numbers of readers. Thank you so much, Belle, for the honor!

Here are the rules for the nominee (Me):

  • Acknowledge the blog that nominated you in a post.
  • Share 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger (Dana) created
  • Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers whom deserve recognition (you cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you)
  • Post 11 new questions for them to answer
  • Notify all nominated bloggers

11 Facts about Kyle

  1. I am an Eagle Scout. A dying breed. Not many more good ones out there that understand how great of an honor this is
  2. Celebrated being married 20 years this past week by being at Girl Scout Camp with my entire family
  3. I have been an IT nerd since sophomore in high school when I joined Computer Homeroom.
  4. Marquette University High School is a great high school. Unless you attend class there, you will never fully understand the bond that an all male high school can have.
  5. Met my lovely bride in fact #2 freshman year at Carroll College. Her first impression of me was not great. Ask her about it sometime 🙂
  6. Swimming has been a passion of mine for a long time. Coached 16 years at Divine Savior Holy Angles before moving to Waukesha North in 2007. I will be eternally grateful to Peggy Braun for taking a chance on me to coach.
  7. Hate the fact that there is not enough time in the day or week or month to staff fully connected with my friends from High School and College. No matter how much time is carved out, there is still not enough
  8. Traveling to Australia during January of 1991 will always be one of the greatest trips of my life
  9. It has taken this long to get to my passion for sports and fantasy sports? Something is wrong. ESPN is a mandatory channel selection and the NFL RedZone is the greatest thing ever invented. Fantasy football is something that I take serious but it does help with fact #7
  10. Same with Golf. Enjoy playing golf or as my brother calls it “Hit and Chase”. No course is a garbage course when playing gold, well except for Portage Country Club. That is a Dog Track
  11. My real brother Brian, lives 5 houses from me, and “my bro” lives 0.5 miles away from me. My real brother is often accused of being older, although I am 4.5 years older. “My Bro” is Jim. At Girl Scout camp, a number of the younger campers often thin we are brothers.
Brian and I

Brian and I

Jim and I

Jim and I

11 Answers for Dana:

1. Why did you start blogging, and why? Really wanted to capture my thoughts while practicing to write more. Most of you know that I have a million things in my head at one time and I thought this would help get them out in an organized way. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

2. If you could go anywhere in the world, right now, where would you go, and why?
As long as I can take Michelle with me, we are going back to Australia. Just something about the people and the culture that is so much fun

3. If you had the chance to travel back in time or into the future, which would you pick, and what would you want to see/find out?
Future. So I could see how my kids turn out. Not that I am going anywhere soon, just want to make sure they are productive members of society that are happy and loved.

4. Apple or PC?
PC. MAC this, Mac that…still cannot live without a PC

5. How did we meet?
I was the Head Swim Coach and you were the eldest Diver on the team. And we probably met at GS Camp as well.

6. What is your guilty pleasure?
Planning to get everyone out of the house, cook up a steak on the grill with mushrooms, turn on ESPN, while drinking a cold beer

7. At my funeral, I want this song played:
Good Riddance by Green Day off the Nimrod album

8. What do you think of when you hear, “Wisconsin?”
Camp Randall Stadium on a cold crisp fall afternoon with 90,000 fans screaming for Bucky

9. What is your favorite season and why?
Summer. Pool, Beach, BBQ, Beer, Golf

10. I never, ever, want to do this again:
Be too busy for a friend in need.

11. What do you like most about yourself?
That I am a giver and not a taker

I Nominate:

  1. Jason Muelver at http://jasonmuelver.tumblr.com
  2. Lisa Dorsey at a Blessed Life
  3. Shiloh Buchman at Hand It Over
  4. Erika Berger at the American Calgarian
  5. Dave Erickson at Nerds Eye View
  6. David Wallach at Pace of Chicago
  7. Another Dave I respect in Dave Steffen at http://dsteffen45.wordpress.com
  8. The Principal of the Purple Palace by Jody Landish
  9. Dale Van Keuren at The Tech Corner
  10. SDW Technology Now
  11. Brenda Ster at the Charmed Suite

My Questions for the Nominees:

  1. Greatest Sporting Event you have ever attended and why
  2. Holiday Parades? – In or Out and why
  3. What is your greatest fear
  4. Favorite State to visit
  5. Who is the greatest inspiration in your life
  6. If there is a person that you could spend one day with, past or present, who would it be?
  7. Favorite Concert of all time that you attended and why
  8. Summerfest or State Fair? Please defend your position
  9. If you were forced to give up one of the 5 senses, which one would it be
  10. What candy could you never give up
  11. Ice Cream or Custard? There is a difference, pick one.

Thanks Readers! ((Editor’s Note: There is no real award handed out for this – Just a great way in my opinion to develop more ideas for posts and to get more readers))


2012 Year in Review

SuperBowlStill recovering from the Packers being bounced from the Playoffs, the family goes to the Super Bowl Experience in Indy the week before the Super Bowl.  Then we head out for a tubing/swim long weekend to Sunburst and then to Blue Harbor in Sheboygan in February.

March started with a massive snowstorm on the 2nd, and then the new scoreboard at the North Aquatic Center was install on March 6th.

Group PhotoKyle goes with his brother and buddies to Gulf Shores for 6 rounds of golf in 4 days over St. Patrick’s Day/Opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament.   GASER Championship is won!

April was very exciting.  Mollet’s and Bedalov’s go to Vegas for Spring Break.  And on our return, Michelle starts working full time at Waukesha North.

Kyle went to Kansas City for work in mid may and had an awesome meal at Jack Stack Barbecue.   Anna gets her braces put on, andFractured Wrist Luke breaks his radius in his left hand.

Anna BracesWith Michelle working full time, planning for Girl Scout camp occupied a great deal of time in May and June, and culminated with a great week of togetherness at Camp Winding River at the end of June.  It also concluded with Luke getting Cryptosporidium and Vibrio

Kyle wins his second golf “major” in mid July at the 19th Annual Tiedt Invitational Tournament.

Swim and School start in August and September and then October rolls in and things start blurring together.

Soccer, birthdays, ushering, choir, watching the Olympics, Badger football games, and meeting LeRoy Butler.  Kyle and LeRoy

Kyle growing a mustache, replacement referees, Luke and Kyle goto a Packer game, fantasy football, working home games at Waukesha North and then Christmas is upon us.


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.


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