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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Camps, My Gray Hair, and Other Things.



March 2, 2008

We’ve had textbook perfect overnight camps the last two weeks. The kids had a great time based on the post camp surveys. I want to thank the staff and volunteers for giving their best and almost best. There are always ups and downs and room for improvement but when all is said and done we did very well.

Overnight camps are difficult for me. Over the last seventeen years exhaustion, like my thinning - graying hair, has become a more constant camp companion. By 7:00 P.M. Friday evening I’ve already run ten to fifteen missions and put in over fifty hours at the Space Center. Now add the overnight camp and a full day of Saturday missions and that number hits 70 hours! That is two weeks of work I do in one week - year round. I have one day off a week - Sunday. Sunday is my day to do everything else required for a semi private life and then back to work on Monday.

By overnight mission time my patience is feeding off fumes. When you see me at my desk with headphones I’m working on time schedules, private mission bookings. emails, the budget, phone calls, summer camp bookings, and everything else. I have one hundred things to do with very limited time. If my answers to your questions are quick and to the point I’m not trying to be rude - I’m tired. When I don’t always have a smile and bounce in my walk its because I’m slightly wore out and reserving my energy and cheerfulness for the campers.

By Friday many of you are done with school and ready to have some fun. You enjoy coming and working with your friends. You laugh and bring a friendly atmosphere to the Center. Don’t let my ‘to the point’ demeanor bring you down. Just give me a little space, try not to ask me too many questions (hold them until Saturday morning - you'll have a better chance of getting a good answer), and be attentive to your campers. I’ll be my ‘normal’ self again Saturday morning after my good four hours of camp sleep.

I want to thank those staff members that understand the commitment and hours I give the Center and do their best to share my load by taking care of my number one concern - the campers. Thank you for greeting them with a smile and a warm, contagious personality. Thank you for staying with them, even during training. Thank you for turning off your cell phones and not using your work time for personal socializing. Thank you for not gossiping about other staff. Thank you for dressing correctly with your staff shirt and black pants. Thank you for stopping to pick up trash and vacuuming a carpet without being asked. Thank you for making me aware of potential hazards. Thank you for your time. Your volunteering relieves the stress of how I staff the Center with our small budget.

Thank you all and I apologize in advance for the next several years of Friday Night grumpiness.

Mr. Williamson
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