"Some folks is wolves, and some's bears… I's a bear…"

--Hoss Cartwright

I'm not sure what the above quote means, exactly, but the nice thing about it is both its simplicity and complexity. Huh? Complexity? From Hoss Cartwright?

If you're actually asking, "Simplicity? From Hoss Cartwright?" please get off your bunk, find a counselor and ask him to return this magazine to the director. Thank you.

Anyway, the complexity of the statement is that it can be taken many ways and interpreted to fit your mood, situation or ideology. I first read it as, "Some people are unethical and disingenuous, while others are principled and affable, like a bear. Hoss is the latter."

Then I thought beyond the typical bear found in my children's books to those found in National Geographic and my concept of Hoss changed. Is Hoss really saying he's a dangerous carnivore? Or, is he most dangerous when provoked by someone threatening his kin, like a mother bear?

Then again, it could be that Hoss embodies all of these traits -- affability, strength, a certain lumbering quality, protectiveness, and so on.

At some point, days later, I finally figured that enough was enough. I needed a break. It was time to put my feet up, disengage my mind and just relax.

"Forget about Hoss and his contradictory behavior," I said to myself. "He's only a man, Rock," as Apollo Creed so eloquently placed the situation before Rocky Balboa when his epic and brutal pugilistic contest with Mr. T approached. Meanwhile, Mr. T proclaimed, "I pity the fool."

But I couldn't shake it. I think the reason it was so disturbing was because it disrupted my often black-and-white worldview. Upon further review, I finally decided that it really didn't harm any of my foundational beliefs.

There are things open to interpretation; Hoss's quote being one of those. Another, for camps, would be skateparks, mountain boarding, or any of the other "extreme" sports.

Some would say that certain sports just don't fit their camp, for any number of reasons -- safety perceptions, camp philosophy and direction, types of kids who attend and so on. For others, they actively incorporate the latest or unusual sports for their own reasons. To be or not to be, in this case, is open to each camp's interpretation.

What is not open to interpretation is a foundational factor like safety. This is an area which cannot be compromised for any reason. As the father of a six-year-old who's off to a week of day camp for the first time, my heartfelt thanks go out to all those who make safety priority number one.

How each camp handles this issue and incorporates it into their programming is open to some interpretation, and some of these perspectives can be found in the article about board sports on page 13, called All a Board.

We provided some further direction and perspective about safety -- specifically emergency planning in management -- on page 25 (Just in Case).

Keep us updated on perspectives and issues you would like to read about that would help you in the daily management of your camp. We'd love to hear from you.

By the way, I's a coyote.


Regan D. Dickinson



Phone: (830) 257-1012

Fax: (830) 257-1020

PO Box 291773, Kerrville, TX 78029

Bryan BuchkoComment