You’ve heard the old saying. If you need something done, give it to the person with the most on their plate. In our case, it’s more like a platter.
Take Rich, for example, our Director of Maintenance and Food Service. He’s our advisor and best friend, who actually does a bit of everything at camp. Rich is the smartest man in the world, and he knows more about everything than anybody. No need to google - just ask him a question and he’ll tell you why.
He starts his day at 4:30 to be here by 5 to test our water. Then into the kitchen to help Chef Junior hand-cut their famous cinnamon rolls. He makes his daily list of maintenance assignments for his staff of 20, who begin work at 7. Somehow, in between, he inventories and orders fresh vegetables and ingredients to make 7,350 meals per week.
Over 100 acres must be mowed in a day, trash picked up and bathrooms cleaned. There’s never-ending screen repair (boys can’t resist throwing a ball at Rest Hour), toilets need to be unclogged (regrettably, they’ve proven that a lacrosse ball cannot be flushed), there are eleven vehicles to maintain, plus a hundred thousand other things. On top of it all, he’s stuck with a camp director who comes up with crazy ideas of things to build for Evening Activity within a few hours' notice, and never rolls his eyes (at least not when she’s looking). He stops what he’s doing to help a cabin raise the flag, or take a walk with a teary boy to feed the pigs, and he’s always willing to tell amazing stories about moose hunts and submarine voyages.
His equal other half is Norma, also brilliant, dedicated and kind. Her mind is remarkable, and she never forgets. On top of managing the administrative side of camp, she serves as our “chief archivist”, and seems to know every name and face of even those who came before her. She’s the “backstage manager” to the Skylemar Show, purchasing, organizing, arranging, processing, shipping and receiving. As a preschool teacher for many years, she has extra great ideas, and the neatest teacher-handwriting you’ve ever seen. She “makes it happen”, whether it’s washing, reminding, guiding or coordinating. Like Rich, her hours are long, and she never stops caring for Skylemar. In fact, just last night she woke up in the middle of the night, put on a bathrobe and headed back to the office, just because a storm was coming and it’s best to shut down the computers.
These two are just the tip of our iceberg, when it comes to a “whatever it takes” attitude. They each have a fabulous and devoted staff on Maintenance, in the Kitchen and at the Office. It’s 20 degrees hotter washing pots, behind a lawnmower or on the Bunkline unpacking. That's Jr, Juan Carlos, Benjamin and Luis. It's both Davids and Jairo, Fabrizio and Superman. Then it's Eben and Timothy, Pam and Eileen. Fred and Tommy, Austin and Brenna. James and Cole, Kristen and Zach. Jared and Jeremiah, Rick and Paul.
Then there’s a team who never gives up: on each boy, on the staff, on the plan and our mission. With George at the stern and Mitch at the bow, we’re grateful for our dedicated group of leaders and athletic directors, like Barney, Gordo, Mike, Nick, Adam, Joel, Peter, Stephen, Trent, Ash, Breezy, JFink, Harry, Holly, Sara, Marge, Steve, Gabriel, DJ, Brian, Morgan, H, Leeds, Ted, Aaron and Bruce. Shannon, Leslie, Cory, Luci, Lily, Calla, Yonne, Kaitlin, Izzy, Baylee, Emily, Mary, Meggo, Maddie, Diane and Suzie – we thank you!
But when the going gets tough, our remarkable nurses shine, with a can-do attitude second to none. Led by the one and only Julie IT, nurses Monica, Jess, Jackie, Melissa and Nina are always there. From band-aids to ice packs to distributing meds, these ladies are sharp, and know how to care. They treat Sky kids wonderfully, as if they were their own – in fact, many are their own. Many thanks to this crew, for late nights, early mornings and time in between.
Yup, that’s a whole lot of names, ‘cause there‘s a whole lot of folks who make the Sky machine hum. We love you forever and so do the boys. Fact is, your platter runneth over. Because you're good at what you do, you make the world a better place, one kid at a time.