In the Service of Others – Notes From Camp – November, 2019

Hi Folks,


Later this month we will send out our invitations to our returning staff to join us again next summer.  Yep, we get started this early.  And it gets us thinking each year about the qualities and the assets a person has that will likely make him or her a successful Timberlane Staff Member.  There are many, of course.  Things like sound judgement and strength of leadership are principal among them.   You have to get a lot of joy working with kids to be a successful counselor or instructor or trip leader.  Actually, that joy from working with kids is needed just to make it through the summer!  It’s a hard job.

Not everyone is cut out to be a great counselor.  And as we consider the attributes of our amazing Timberlane staff, one quality that rises to the top is the desire to place yourself in the service of others.  We know counselors are clearly not in it for the money (though by camping world standards our staff does well).  We sometimes joke around a bit by telling our staff there is a BIG difference between counselors and baby sitters in that A) counselors do so much more than just make sure no one gets hurt or burns the house down and B) on an hourly basis baby sitters make WAY more money.

It is that willingness to place someone else’s needs above your own, their priorities ahead of yours, that is an absolute must for anyone to be a successful camp leader.  You know who gets it?  Leslie.  Yep…now that she’s retired as an instructor at the U of A, she is volunteering each week in an elementary school classroom herding cats.  She comes home worn out and totally pumped up.  Are 1st & 2nd graders fun?  Yes, yes they are (especially for just a few hours a day).  And as a volunteer, a fully selfless act, the reward just seems that much greater.

RICK JONES is a high school art teacher, and HOLLY JONES was a teacher until she retired a few years ago.  On a weekly basis the Jones’ get together with a group of volunteers, and they bring meals to feed some of the homeless folks in their hometown of Indianapolis.  Before they bring the food, Rick scouts out locations where the homeless people often gather just to make sure they know where to reach the most people.  They are not paid – in fact there is financial cost to them to participate.  And they do not do it for the recognition.  They are – as ever – in the service of others.

You know who else gets it?  The Timberlane Staff.  It goes without saying they sacrifice to work at camp.  They put in unbelievably long days over the course of a full summer.  The energy required to stay positive, keep a smile on your face and continuously give your time to others is immeasurable.  They do it in the service of others, placing the kids above themselves.  And they knock our socks off every summer.

In the interest of full disclosure, let’s not fail to mention all the benefits our staff members reap from this experience.  They grow as much (maybe even more) than the campers through their work.  They develop skills in critical thinking, resilience, team work, leadership, time management and a wide array of other substantial and important adult skill sets.  Perhaps most importantly, they learn about the personal integrity and strength that comes from dedicating yourself to the service of others.   That’s a win-win from any vantage point.

Thanksgiving is coming up.  We at camp are very thankful to the selfless people with whom we work and live every summer.


We’re going to ask you right now to call your pediatrician’s office and make an appointment for your son’s annual appointment.  Yes, it’s crazy early, but you know how booked up these docs get, and there is a medical form the doctor must fill out and you need to get to us by May 15th.  If you can’t get in till June, then it presents a problem.  So please take care of getting the appointment now.

It is FINALLY reunion time!!  We are so ready!  The video was done nearly 2 weeks ago, which is some sort of record, we’re sure.  And it is darn good.  Sure to be a consideration when award season comes around (though..isn’t it always award season?).  If you can’t make it to the reunion near you (see the schedule below and…well…MAKE IT TO THE REUNION NEAR YOU!), we will post the video online in December.  The online version is about 20% longer than the one we show at reunions, so even after you come to the reunion, you’ll wanna watch the online version.  We’ll send you the link when the time comes.  Here’s the reunion schedule:

St. LouisSunday, Nov. 3, 20192 PM - 3:30 PM
Kansas CityMonday, Nov. 4, 20197 PM - 8:30 PM
ChicagoSaturday, Nov. 9, 20192 PM - 4:30 PM
NashvilleSunday, Nov. 17, 20193 PM - 4:30 PM
MemphisMonday, Nov. 18, 20197 PM - 8:30 PM
HoustonSaturday, Dec. 7, 20192 PM - 3:30 PM
Los AngelesSunday, Dec. 15, 20193 PM - 4:30 PM
DallasSaturday, Jan. 11, 20202 PM - 3:30 PM


Ryan Copeland-11/03, Gabriel Miles-11/03, Jack Schwarcz-11/05, Hayden Adrian-11/06, Connor O’Neil-11/09, Mason Garcia-11/10, Alexander Mc Cloud-11/11, Jack Korentager-11/11, Owen Lilly-11/13, Jake Oberman-11/14, Danny Fischer-11/16, Vicky Romero-11/17, Noah Foster-11/18, Kenyon Smith-11/19, Josh Traub-11/20, Jack Davison-11/22, William Crosby-11/25, Jack Kriser-11/27, Dylan Prystowsky-11/27, Isaac Guthmann-11/27, Jonathan Vera-11/27, and Mason Miller-11/28.

Later this month, we will post a list of all the awesome guys who have enrolled or camp in the past few weeks.  IF YOU’RE CAMPER IS NOT YET ENROLLED, WHAT ARE YA WAITING FOR?!  You can sign him up by clicking here.

Have a great November, a very happy Thanksgiving, and we will be in touch.

Benches up,

Mike, Leslie & Dustin