Digital ramblings without my Dixon Ticonderoga...

Decision Making

“Camp is for the camper” is a motto that Chief Margie Newman pounded into the heads of the entire camp staff at Camp of the Rising Son.  My first summer at CRS was 1994. I was in between my junior and senior year of high school. I wasn’t quiet sure where I was going to college or what I would do with the rest of my life, but those words would play a huge role in some of the decisions I would make in my young adult life.

I studied elementary education at Delta State so I could leave my options open to work at summer camps. I worked at CRS, Twin Lakes, Cedar Point, and a few other special needs camps during college. I knew that camp was for the camper and I loved working at camps. I became a student of camping. I joined the American Camping Association just so I could learn more about camp management. I have lived camp, breathed camp, and eaten a lot of camp stew in my eighteen years of camp obsession.

For the past seven years I have spent every summer day around a man made, chlorinated lake. I have made Aviation Challenge my camping passion. I pulled my hair out at times, had the police called once, and enjoyed every mildew moment driving the Raptor. If you cut me, I think I would bleed OD green. Working around the lake has given me the experience of Be Ready Camp. BRC has taught me more about leadership than any workshop or leadership activity ever could.

Currently I am making the transition away from Aviation Challenge to help in Education. I don’t want to leave my roots of camp management. I enjoy calling parents and encouraging campers to overcome homesickness. I really don’t want to move away from camp, the kids, or the staff. I am torn, what is best for camp and the campers?

I have learned that leaders must make clear decisions. Have your ever been faced with a decision where your heart and your head were further apart than Nancy Pelosi and Sarah Palin? That is what I have been facing recently, to move on or move up? I am reminded of Chief Margie’s motto, camp is for the camper! At camp, it doesn’t matter what you are doing as long as you are putting the campers first.

1 Comment

  1. May 9, 2010    

    So, nosy me wants to know the circumstances around this, but let me say that life is full of these choices. That is exactly how Danny and I felt as we left MS and roots for him to go to seminary in TX 12 years ago (and what moved me away from CRS). But it was also the best experience to grow in our relationship and professionally.

    I have also decided that parenting is REALLY full of these choices… and I am not sure whether or not I will see the results any time soon :).

    I know you will be good in either education or camp- let’s be honest, even my advanced choir which sings in multiple languages knows BILL GROGAN’S GOAT!!! There is really a fine line between the two!