Out of nowhere it seems, fall has fallen and winter--not official for six more weeks--is breathing down our necks. What happened to the warm temps? Where are the leaves? Is it really time to buy a turkey?
But that’s the norm for this time of year in our business and, I suspect, the same is true of your camp or conference center. Somehow, the simultaneous task of running your day-to-day business while planning for next year manages to gobble days and weeks at such a frantic clip you lose track of time. One minute it’s August, the next you’re singing Christmas carols with your kids.
I’ve always marveled at this phenomenon. It happens every year and--on the surface--seems odd. I mean, shouldn’t we be slowing down to enjoy time with family and friends? Shouldn’t we be checking out of the proverbial rat race?
But, I can also see the good in using this time of year to plan for the next. After all, the holidays and the end of the year ultimately signal good things--accomplishment, progress, results and, best of all, hope. Ah, glorious hope.
For a while there, it seemed to be lost--buried in an avalanche of competing election commercials, bad economic news and repeated stories of personal hardships. We were and maybe still are surrounded by this news -- bombarded by it. And yet, everyone I talk to continues to plan. They’re building budgets.
They’re reviewing master plans. They’re developing new programs, new products. They’re rolling out new services.
None of that happens in the absence of hope. None of that happens without the belief that the bad news is temporary and with perseverance and hard work we can overcome.
I think this, more than anything, is the message I glean from this time of year. In some ways, it’s busier than ever, but, if there’s such a thing, it’s a good busy.
We put this end-of-the-year issue together with that thought in mind. Inside, you’ll find research on what other readers see as training priorities for campers and staff. You’ll find a story on using the Internet to revolutionize staff training. You’ll learn about the four P’s of maximizing capital-campaign contributions.
And, you’ll find another wonderful piece by Gary Forster on designs and materials that will help you solve pesky camp bathroom and shower house problems. (The art in this story is excellent--be sure to take a peak.)
Most of all, you’ll find stories full of hope. And right now--at this time of year--that is always a good thing.
Rodney J. Auth