Climbing walls are nice.  A beautiful lake is helpful.  Canoes, arrows, paint brushes, and kickballs come in handy.  But none of our resources compares to our amazing staff and volunteers.  None of our facilities, equipment, or our physical property make “Camp” happen.  It is our counselors, food service staff, nursing staff, maintenance staff, administrative staff, and volunteers that makes “Camp” happen.  It’s people that make “Camp” happen.

I am reminded of this all of the time.  Last night, I was able to go bowling with a handful of our summer staff from all 3 camps that are here in Medford to volunteer for the weekend for our Winter Planning Session.  These folks have come from as far away as Virginia, Washington D.C., and New York for today’s meeting to get a head start on putting together the summer of 2012.  We’ll be tackling topics like schedules, new activities, special events, staff orientation, and staff hiring.

The character of our staff never ceases to amaze me.  These “kids” (and I use that term purposefully with the utmost respect) have the confidence, maturity, understanding, and skills to accept a job that in my opinion, requires a level of responsibility that is beyond their years.  I sometimes laugh (and sometimes get annoyed) when I hear some people talk about summer camp counselors and how easy their job is “sitting around the lake getting a tan all summer.”  These “kids” choose to be here during their time off from school, they don’t make a ton of money, and they come back year after year for one reason:  they care about other people and about making the world a better place.  They want our campers to be safe.  They want them to learn life skills.  They want them to turn off their cell phone and computers for a few weeks and experience face-to-face interactions in the natural world.  They want them to learn values and make new friends.  They want them to be part of a community.  That’s it.  That’s why they are here.  That’s why they make countless sacrifices to come back to Camp so they can give back to the next generation.  These “kids” make me a better person every day.  They make our campers better people every day.  They are here to serve.

Please wish us luck today as we tackle some very important issues to make this summer the best one in Matollionequay, Lake Stockwell, and Ockanickon history.  Thank you to all of our staff and volunteers, past and present, who continue to make this a place where children have fun while becoming better human beings.

Brent Birchler

Boys Camp Director