Please Release Me, Let Me Go!!!

I like the movie “The Guardian.”  Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher star in this movie about Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers.  when asked how Costner decides who to save, he replies, ” Save the ones you can.  And let the rest go!”

In the final scene, the two are fighting to save folks trapped in a boat during a huge storm.  Kutcher is in the aircraft and holding onto the hand of Costner who is dangling beneath.  Kutcher is determined and prepared to hang on for the flight back to mainland.  The helicopter is overloaded and fighting to make it through the storm.

Kutcher: “I won’t let go!”

Costner: “I know….”

Costner releases his grip and falls off into the ocean to very dramatic music…. and the movie is over with Costner as a hero!!!

I have been the District Cub Scout Day Camp Director for 3 years.  When I accepted the position, I never knew what exactly it would entail.  I knew the Program Director planned games and had fun.  How hard could that be????  Imagine trying to herd 200 STARVING cats away from a seafood buffet…and you are halfway there.

I had been going to the Council’s Camp Director Meetings for months…but since wasn’t trained didn’t quite get it.  Until this point, I had been using the notes and everything from the previous years.   After Camp School, I almost cried because I had so much to do to plan.  So…I went to work.

Don’t get me wrong, the plan was good…but it wasn’t ME!!! I reorganized the way our dens formed, class schedules, and EVERYTHING! I sI took things to a whole level that made my poor DE’s blood pressure sky rocket- bless her heart!!  When I showed the plan and process to the Council’s District Directors thought I was crazy or at least ceritfiable…until 220 boys showed up!!!

The theme…PIRATES!!!  I took on the Pirate name of Captain D.  I found a crazy costume to promote Camp.  I collected over $3000 in prizes and goodies for “Captain D’s Bounty”- which each Cub got at the end of the week- we’re talking passes to movies, cups, mugs, a real book bag, prizes, pens, pencils, flags, hats, etc… My Quartermaster hooked us up with boats to decorate the camp.  We had trails for the boys to walk on. The boys were going to be outdoors in the woods like “real” Scouts…which seemed like a great idea….except didn’t think about the chiggers and fleas!  Long story short, it was fun..and I learned lots as we found our weaknesses and made some good changes that made 2009 MUCH better.

2010 was the best!  Everything I wanted to do in ’08 and ’09, and hadn’t been able for “long story” reasons…we did!  It was awesome…and at the end of the week, I smiled!  We were truly “HEROES_(that was the theme…not that I actually consider myself a Hero…I am just little old me!!!)

What people don’t realize is that from October 2007 to June 2010, every moment of my life was centered around Camp.  I actually had a full-time job where I actually worked 80+ hours a week… then add 20-30 hours per week for Camp stuff…  I would wake up in the middle of the night with ideas for camp.  I had nightmares that storms destroyed camp….and the reality that it WASN’T when we arrived the next morning and we had to rebuild our outdoor centers in less than 2 hours!!! I had dreams where everything went great.  Finding costumes and ways to promote Camp became my life!  I chased down lead after lead trying to find special guests to visit and make Camp special for the Boys.  I wrote countless emails to find stuff.  I used 2000+ minutes per month calling every Cubmaster, Committee Chair, and Den Leader in the District…REPEATEDLY to remind them of Camp!!! (thank goodness for rollover minutes!!!) We begged for help and volunteers…and I spent MANY hours each day wondering if Camp would really work.  You see, no one really knows how much I gave… except  Mary!

Mary was there with me all 3 years.  She sat in the background doing all the administrative junk that allowed me to plan and have fun!  I love this woman with all my heart…because she IS the only person in the world that truly has my back 24-7!!!

I told everyone that 2010 was my last year; so, I knew there was going to be a new Director.  I wanted to meet and to help the new Program Director.  I had about 10 pages of notes and ideas for 2011’s theme of “under the Big Top”…(Believe it or not, I actually planned Camp…not that people would be believe me sometimes)…Scheduling, planning, crafts, and everything  to make camp awesome.  Oh the fun and excitement the Boys would have with MY ideas…and MY PLAN!!!

Then, I realized something…it was not MY camp anymore!!!  So, in a bold move, I gave them a sheet with some contact people…and nothing else!!!  THEY  needed to make their own program which THEY understood…and THEY could execute… I simply LET GO!!!

I gave Day Camp my everything- time, thought, and energy.  Sadly though, no dramatic music played as I quietly slipped off into the night… BUT for the first time in almost 3 years, on June 11, 2010, I slept in peace… hoping I did a great job and maybe made a great difference in someone’s life!!!  

Poor Sharon...Never knew what to expect from Captain D!!!


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