I’d love to tell you that I invented Carpetball.  Dave Kaubin would love to claim GaGa as his own creation.  Gab, MaryAnn, and Lynn wish that they had co-authored the lyrics to “Little Red Wagon.”  Chef Jason dreams that he was the first chef to slice open a soft pretzel and slap a piece of ham and a slice of cheese in between the 2 halves.  The truth is that we have learned a lot of our Camp games, activities, songs, counseling skills, and recipes from some of the smartest minds in the Camping industry, past and present.  Over the past few months, many of our Camp staff have been traveling all over the Northeast to various trainings and workshops.  We’ve attended the Northeast Y Camp Conference at the Frost Valley YMCA in the Catskills of New York State, the American Camp Association Tri-State Camping Conference in Atlantic City, and various YMCA trainings including Fiscal Management (that was a fun one!) and Volunteerism.  Joe and I are looking forward to Advanced Fiscal Management next month.  Not as much fun as Atlantic City, but it will help us to become more well-rounded camping professionals!  Jamie attended the YMCA Camp Maintenance Conference at YMCA Camp Chingachgook in the Adirondacks of New York and Ruben is going all the way to San Francisco, CA for an IT Conference.  Finally, Dave, James, Marlana, and I just became Red Cross Lifeguard Instructors so we can train and certify our own Waterfront Lifeguards from now on.  As difficult as it is to be away from Camp at such a busy planning and setting up time of year, attending these trainings and networking with our colleagues from other Camps  prepares us to step up  our game and improve our own programs from last year.  In a few short months, we’ll have 175 or so of our seasonal staff that we’ll need to train and prepare for the busiest part of our Group Services season and our Summer Camp season.  We are very passionate about doing everything in our power to run the best Camp programs that we possibly can.  Our Campers are worth it!  So if you run into one of us in the near future and we look a little tired or start quoting Bob Ditter or the Red Cross Lifeguarding Manual, you’ll know why!

Brent Birchler

Boys Camp Director