The other day I spoke to one of our camp “families” over the phone. He needed a ride to his doctor’s office and called several friends and associates. None were conveniently available, so he called an old friend he went to camp with in the 1950s. “Of course,” was the immediate response. This tweaked his active mind, so he called another old camper friend, and the answer was the same, “Of course! When?”

Was it just the way it is with people, or was something else being said? Was it a pure accident that none of his friends could make themselves available to him, but two very old camper friends immediately did? Were the friends from camp just accidentally available, or were they answering from a different place?

I concluded that our camps in the 1950s and 60s did far more than teach kids how to swim, ride horses, etc. Camp taught responsibility for oneself and others. Our pragmatic philosophy gave each small group freedom to be their own camp! Purple Sage and Camp Shasta were made up of many camps, each consisting of 8 campers, a counselor, and a junior counselor. That those relationships are still highly regarded many years later speaks volumes.

The day after Thanksgiving, we were called by two Shasta campers. These two ladies oversee Lenette and me, as do so many others. We are fortunate beyond words to have so many remarkable caregivers looking after us. Both contribute to our lives every time they call or visit. One was a professional editor in her past life, and she joined in with Steve Z to assist in editing my book, Events Dictate. She thinks it is a “winner.”

How blessed are we to have our “family” be made up of so many!


Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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