Be Ready Camp is over for 2010. Will we have BRC 2011, only our next governor knows? As for me, if this was our last year of BRC, I don’t think we could have ended it better! The final mock disaster was perfect, Gumbo made a great Incident Commander. The BRC staff was better and more knowledgeable than ever!
The special thing about BRC is the kids are my people! They come from the rural areas around Alabama. People from the first responder corps and blue collar men and women send their kids to BRC. Even the fire boys and paramedics who help out are my people. I found out that a Huntsville fire captain who has helped since BRC1 is a cotton farmer! People don’t get much better than farmers!
The staff seems to give a little more as well. Fireball works only on Friday to take care of the UAHuntsville nursing students. Snapper and Slip Knot have their favorite briefings. I love teaching Incident Command. The leadership skills that I have learned from BRC are more valuable than any book, lecture, or class on the subject. We teach things such as planning for a disaster. We teach kids to use common sense and keep their heads about them when chaos is all around them. It is a life skills camp, which is why it is so important.
On Friday night with smoke all around and a MedFlight helicopter hovering over the lake, I told someone that the mock disaster looked more realistic than ever. I was hoping the kids would respond with a great performance too. This week was a little bit of a struggle, but the kids rocked the mock disaster out! Each year, I am so proud of the kids and staff for their hard work on Friday night! This year was a little more special.
BRC graduations are a little different than Aviation Challenge grads. We have more parents for six teams of BRC campers than we do for ten teams of AC campers. The parents and the campers are so thankful for the camp. I stand in one place under the bubble and here thank you for the campers and parents. It makes all the extra work of BRC worth it! At the end of my career, I will look back at BRC and still be proud to have been a part of the camp! It is truly a special camp!
If you have worked Be Ready Camp, why is it special to you?