I started my new role as CEO of YMCA Camp Ockanickon, Inc. on March 9, 2015, so it’s been about a month. I figured this was a good time to share a little more about myself and to take a breath and to reflect a bit. I moved to Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, on March 1 from Rockville, Maryland. It is my first time living in New Jersey, and the sixth state I’ve called home as an adult. It was a welcome move for both me and my wife, Beth. We are now much closer to family, which is important to us. I have a brother and a sister-in-law and three nephews who are now only 90 minutes away; and a second brother, a second sister-in-law, two nephews, and a niece who are now only 4 hours away. Both seem like a short drive after living in D.C.
Beth and I are almost done unpacking. I think we have one picture left to hang and then we’ll be settled. People tell me that a month seems like an unreasonable amount of time to take to unpack. They may be right, but in a month I’ve: moved, started a new job, attended our open house, had Breakfast with a Bunny, met all of the wonderful staff at Ockanickon, gone on my honeymoon, and had my in-laws visit for a week.* I feel good about what Beth and I have accomplished! Next step: Beth is going to find a job and I’m going to continue to drink from the firehose that is Ockanickon. A few other things about me: I have a French Mastiff named Dylan, after Bob Dylan. She’s a rescue but we guess she’s about 11 years old. She can still muster the energy to chase the occasional squirrel though. I enjoy reading, SCUBA diving, running, and spending time with my family. I’m nervous about these chigger things I keep hearing about.
Now onto the important stuff. Camp! Between staff, campers, the Board of Directors, alumni, and volunteers it seems as if I’ve met hundreds of people by now. Each and every person has welcomed me with open arms. Most have taken a moment to make sure I understand what a special place this is. I can’t say that I feel depth and breadth of it as much as others, but rest assured I do understand. I’m honored and humbled to be one of the stewards of this magical place for its next phase. Next year will mark the start of our 12th decade serving the community. In our 11 decades, we served hundreds of children and families. We gave away countless dollars in assistance to people in need and perhaps most importantly, we changed the lives of thousands of people. So many people have already told me that they would not be the person, the parent, the success, etc., that they are today without Ocky, Matolly, and Stockwell. What an awesome, in all sense of the word, responsibility I have. I’m excited. I hope you are too.
I hope to get to meet each and every person who loves this place. My office door is always open, although I hope not spend too much time in it this summer. There will be too many fun things going on in camp!
*They’re quite lovely.