A View from the Woods.
Our ACA world is like Dayton's team, always changing. We, too, have invisible ties that hold us together and give us support and comfort. Yet, what happens when natural evolution demands we change our culture? Resistance can cause extinction.
We are becoming less and less like each other. Our world is more inter-generational, more multicultural, more risk-taking, and more entrepreneurial, thus demanding greater customization. More of us than not belong to constituencies on the fringes. Both the external world around us and our internal world require us to realign our "team."
We need to re-engineer for speed; we must design customizable programs based on shared needs. We need fluid structures that can be nimble and that can respond to emerging issues while maintaining ethical dimensions amid the inherent complexity. We must present an image of shared values and essential elements while capitalizing on strategic alliances designed to advance our influence. We need to celebrate our growing diversity and face the increasing demands on our industry. We must more than ever recognize that our power lies in our ability to look beyond our differences and see our common community -- a team culture with a common purpose, a passion for the camp experience, enriching lives and changing the world.
The culture I'm describing is not unlike the culture you create each year at camp. Regardless of the percent of new staff, new campers, or the diversity within, you go about the business of creating a camp community that respects and values all. You recognize when you can successfully do that you enrich the lives of all those at camp, and when they leave, they will take those lessons and change their world.
Dayton's game is over. They lost. Yet, as I watch them walk off the field arm in arm, I hear them encourage their hearts. "Good play, nice hit, good run, we'll do better next time. We're a team. Yeah!" they say. I smile as I watch the different sizes, shapes, colors, and abilities run to the canteen for a cool, well-deserved drink. I whisper, "Good play, good hit, we'll do even better next time. We're a team!"
Peg L. Smith
ACA Executive Director
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Title Annotation:||meeting challenges in camp administration|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2001|
|Previous Article:||Battling the "I Hate This Camp" Virus.|
|Next Article:||Kids' Well-Being Improves.|