“It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”
Invictus, William Earnest Henley (1875)
This is but the fourth stanza of a poem so powerful, it inspired Nelson Mandela to emerge from nearly 30 years of imprisonment, forgive his captors and
begin to heal his beloved South Africa.
It inspired the movie, Invictus (2009)—the story of how Mandela used the national rugby team to show his citizens they could exceed their own expectations.
And, it inspired our annual staff training issue—the one you now hold in your hands.
OK—that last part is a bit of stretch, but it could have.
After all, isn’t this exactly what you’re trying to teach your summer staff?
Yes, you want them to be efficient, friendly, safe and effective. But that’s really the bare minimum. What you really want is for them to inspire campers to “be better
than they think they can be.”
To move beyond their fears and grow in ways only camp is prepared to offer. That’s a tall order.
To help you, we’ve packed this issue with ideas shared from directors around the country.
We cover everything from handling crisis situations (“Prepare Staff For The Worst,” page 11) to teaching good decision-making (“Scary Stories,” page
35) to grooming future leaders (“Lifelong Leaders,” page 36 and “Future Leaders,”
But one of my favorites (and that’s saying something in this issue) starts on page 26. It’s a great, first-hand experience written by Ann Marie Gallo, owner/
director of Summer’ Edge Day Camp & Tennis School in Lexington, Mass., that has
me asking my staff, “What would Ted do?”
You’ll understand when you read it.
Have a great month—and good luck this summer!
Rodney J. Auth
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