We are a little over four weeks from NCS and five weeks until the 94th seasonal staff reports to Camp Parsons for the summer program. It seems like we dismissed them just last week. Preparations continue as summer camp grows near; as mentioned before the SMG parade field and parking lot are graded and look good; the TP is coming along and the SMG fireplace has a new medallion hanging over the fireplace as you can see here. I think it looks good. We have a few work parties between now and opening, but most of the "heavy" lifting has been done and we really don't have a major project we are trying to finish. The MBC renovation is moving along and I suspect it will be complete the week before the staff arrive.
Our contracts for the staff have gone out and I know there are a number of you who are interested in who is doing what. Andy Hoyle is moving into Anthony Johnson's previous position as Asst. Program Director with Matt Swanson as our Head Commissioner. Derek Hayes did a great job of stepping up last season to fill in some of the Business Manager responsibilities and although coming into his second year of staff, he has been selected as the CIT Director. Curtiss Lyman will be Aquatics Director and at the time of this writing will have one of the biggest Aquatics Crew that CP has seen in decades (if ever). No worries.....the time of this writing will pass and so will the number of aquatic crew members. Nick Pickard returns to camp staff after being gone for awhile to become the Climbing Director. Sean Mobley is taking over the Head Cook position and is excited to take on this new challenge; I have no doubt it will be computerized by the end of staff week. Jake Dahlberg will be the Scoutcraft Director and Ian Engelbeck has been tapped as Eco/Con Director. Unfortunately we have lost David Ritzenthaller as Shooting Sports Director but we have some potential replacements for that position. Those are some of the positions folks ask about the most......there are other key positions as well, but I am not going on to list every ones name here. Come to camp and see.
Each summer is unique and that uniqueness is brought by the current summer staff. Whether it is a slight change in an old program, a new activity, a new song, a new skit......whatever, camp will be strong as a reflection to the talent we have. The job does not make the person (though may influence them as the summer goes by) the person makes the job. There are defined duties to be undertaken but the individual brings their personality to the performance of their duty. Many veteran staff members falsely believe that there are prerequisites to being selected for a leadership position and although there are certain talents, skills and experience that we desire for certain positions, the only prerequisite is that Ken and I think they can do the job because at the end of the day, we pay the price (well Ken more than me.......but I take it personally). I have never settled for anything and if I have a concern, I will have that concern shadowed by someone I know will never let the quality or customer service of our camp fail. Yes, I may be vague on my thoughts but I don't like making specific examples that will do nothing more than embarrass some people. I have hired staff leaders in the past that gave me some concern but then go on and shine in the performance of their job. Then, I have had staff members with unbelievable talent take on leadership roles and fail. There is no true formula but one thing is true......camp will go on.
I am looking forward to our upcoming season; I am happy that we have many returning staff and I am happy that we have so many older first year staff as well. We still have much to do in these next four to five weeks but the summer will be here before you know it.