It is funny how our lives as camp directors are lived entirely in relation to camp. Leaves falling from the trees means it is time to start hiring staff, snow on the ground means it is time to finalize our summer calendar, NBA and NHL playoffs means camp is right around the corner and we better be ready!
People often ask us, “What do you do the rest of the year?” and we try our very best to explain. It certainly isn’t a “normal” job. There’s an extremely wide range of knowledge we need to cover on an annual and daily basis – maintain just under 100 buildings, miles of plumbing, electrical and data services, 320 acres of forest, 2 miles of shoreline, the boats, the horses, the tennis courts (just to name a few activities), security, health, transportation, (re)hiring 200+ extraordinary staff members, finances, food, staff training, human resources, conflict resolution, public speaking, large group training, education, marketing, event planning, youth development…the list goes on!
A simplified metaphor to our experience as camp directors is that camp is like an engine and we are the engineers. And not in a cog and wheel, churning out camp experiences kind of way. No, our camp engine is authentic and beautiful, intricate and complex, reliable and safe, unique and exciting, artfully crafted and made with love. “The rest of the year” it’s our job to make sure that every single part is accounted for, made properly and put together in just the right way.
When the kids arrive we turn on the engine. Because of our hard work, and the hard work of so many dedicated seasonal and year-round staff and colleagues, we are confident that the engine has what it needs to run safely and effectively. And when it gets turned on, it is truly extraordinary; Vega is extraordinary. For three months we get to live in a world where the most important things are right in front of us, or at the very most, a short walk away.
Of course, just like any engine, it constantly needs fuel and maintenance and we nurture it throughout the season with all our hearts and energy. We get to experience all the joy, wonder, beauty, love and responsibility that comes with being summer parents for 300 incredible girls and 200 incredible staff.
Then in August, we have to turn it off. We dry our eyes, take a few breaths, and get back to the drawing board.