My Dad likes to recount the story of a family friend who built a new home and, when it was done, invited all his friends over for a house-warming party. As Dad recalls, the evening was chugging along fine, folks were enjoying themselves and the refreshments when his friend nudged him and asked, “Would you like a tour?”
Being a good friend (and probably a bit curious – the new home was apparently huge), Dad obliged and followed his friend from room-to-room admiring the subtle elements and decorations. As they approached, the master bedroom his friend stopped him and said, “And this will confirm, once and for all, that my wife is much better at reading blueprints.”
Not sure how to respond, my Dad walked into the bedroom. It was large, well lit and tastefully decorated. He said as much to his friend who replied, “this isn’t even the best part of the room. Follow me.”
Together, they walked through the master bedroom and into the closet area. It was almost as large as the sleeping area and complete with professionally organized shelves, cubbies and even a seating area with a full length mirror.
“Wow,” said my Dad. “This is beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like it – I feel like I’m in an upscale dressing room.”
Dad’s friend just smiled and said, “Yes. It’s very nice. Follow me.”
He took my Dad through the back of the closet, crossed the hall that led from the master bedroom to the master bathroom and opened a door that led to what looked like a small linen closet.
Confused, my Dad said, “Very nice linen closet.”
His friend broke out laughing. “That’s not a linen closet. That’s my clothes closet. Apparently, I can’t read a blueprint.”
My Dad couldn’t help but laugh. His friend obviously enjoyed the joke and, apparently, was unconcerned about his lack of closet space.
Then his friend said, “But, at least I’ve got this.”
He turned and walked down the hall to what Dad assumed was the master bathroom but actually turned out to be another room – one that housed a big screen TV, microwave, sink, refrigerator, wet bar and comfy couch perfectly situated for game-day TV action and late night TV viewing or snacking. He even had a coffee pot ready and willing to spit out a cup for a “first thing in the morning” experience.
In short, he had created the perfect “man’s bathroom.” Tim the Toolman Taylor couldn’t have done it any better.
My Dad said as much, which pleased his friend immensely. He was obviously very proud of his new room and, equally obvious, could definitely read a blueprint – he just had different priorities than his wife.
The same can be said of camp directors, their staff and their patrons. When it comes to capital improvements, all three may have differing views of what’s important and what’s priority. In this issue, both Jeffery Merhige and Gary Forster walk us through how to decide what is included and what isn’t in capital projects as well as the sound advice to begin by improving the amenities and maintenance of your current facilities (ie: clean showers/restrooms) before you consider building additional stuff.
If you’re already thinking of new building projects, we’ve included a story on how you can use treehouses to spice up your camp. Nothing says summer like a lazy day in the trees. Maybe they can add to your camp experience.
I hope you enjoy this issue. Feel free to email me a note and let me know how we’re doing.
Till next month,
Rodney J. Auth