When we train new staff members at Camp Parsons about their effect on scouts and on the camp, we use an analogy; this is something that is not unique to Camp Parsons as I have seen it in other venues, but it gets the point across. You take a large rock and drop it off the end of the pier. When it hits the water, it makes a big splash, and depending on how big the rock was (and how high the tide is), you may get some water back up on the pier. As the water settles and the displacement of the water resolves, many ripples/waves begin extending out from the point of impact. The analogy to the staff is that they make a big impact when they are here, in front of scouts and being on stage. That impact is as large as one's talent whether it is being an outstanding instructor, hard worker, actor, singer, etc......or some or maybe all of the above. For that brief shining moment you are the center of the world to those scouts and staff around you. When you move on though and the seasons pass, your effect is no longer there in the present day. However the ripples you created will continue to spread in the memories of those who experienced you. We all have encountered this; almost all scouts, young and old, can remember that one or two staff members that mean so much to them even if the staff member never knew that scout existed.
When you read some of the comments that have been sent to me, or phone calls to camp, or reading numerous posts on Facebook, you can see the ripple effect from Pat's presence. Although future staff members and scouts will never know him, many from the past will always recall him. A memory is not a bad legacy.
Life does not stop for these tragic events and we need to keep moving forward, perhaps glancing back every now and then. Camp Brinkley has many Cub Scouts scheduled to attend camp this summer, none of whom know who Pat was, but they do know they are looking forward to an experience (which they probably cannot even imagine). We need to make sure these young cubs have the time of their lives and I hope the Brinkley staff will honor Pat by putting on an outstanding program for those boys.
The family has posted that they are having a memorial service for Pat on Saturday, June 9th in Bremerton to be held at Miller-Woodlawn (I do not have the address) at 2:00 PM. I have no doubt many of Pat's family and friends will be there. As for many of us in the Camp Parsons world, we will be remembering Pat on the job that day as we have our last major AWP to finish up key projects for summer; the beginning of National Camp School which many of us are teaching at and finally, several staff members are graduating High School that day. So, for those of you (and us) who will not be able to make it to the family memorial, we will have a celebration of Pat's life here at Camp Parsons sometime this summer for anyone who wishes to attend. For almost eight years Pat called this home and we want rejoice on his time here on the Hood Canal.
More information in the future.