Today, we enjoyed a special visitor.
Tom Rosenberg is the CEO of the American Camp Association. The ACA is the accreditation body for camps. It also spearheads research, advocacy and professional development for camps.
We have been friends for over 2 decades. We both served as members of the ACA National Board and as its Treasurer. We have connected every year at the National Conferences and at other events. He was also a former camp director, so we would discuss trends in camping and in parenting.
Two years ago, he left his camp and became the CEO at the ACA. He has been a dynamic leader in that role and we are lucky to have him.
So Susie Ma’am and I were so excited when he said that he wanted to visit us this summer.
We have talked about each other’s camps for years. I had visited one of his, but he had never been here.
During Flag Raising (before Tom arrived this morning), Robbie Sir encourage all our campers to “practice reaching out” on Tom. Their instructions were to walk up, shake his hand and say “Hello Tom Sir. Welcome to Camp Champions!”
Apparently, our campers overachieved.
I let Tom tour camp with one of our directors so that he could get a normal tour. [Note from Susie Ma’am: Steve Sir is prone to tangents. He can summarize a 30 minute TV show into 45 minutes. We wanted to let Tom see the camp without excess distractions.]
When Tom returned from the tour, he was quite kind. “The camp looks awesome. And I think you have the friendliest campers I have ever seen. Dozens of campers introduced themselves.”
It has been fun to have Tom here for the day. During the non-summer months, we both spend a lot of our time promoting camp-related research and helping camps (and parents) understand the benefits of the camp experience. While camp is in session, it is easy to become completely focused on the day-to-day issues. I know who is homesick and who has a stomach bug. I spend time talking about how to make a particular evening activity a little extra fun.
So it has been fun to take a step back and think about the big picture today.
In a moment, Tom will see his first Torchlight ceremony and watch some counselor skits. I hope he enjoys his visit here as much as we have enjoyed having him here!