Unique, Yet Self-Centered

These events took place when the person I’m writing of was a 10-year-old who saw the world through his own unique lens and continued to do so throughout his life. The story that follows is an example of his singular point of view. 

At Camp Shasta (1960 to 1970), each group of 8 campers, with their counselor, and junior counselor, were given a cabin where they could do anything with it they wanted to. Including adding rooms, a deck, saw holes, paint or just live in it as is. All with the agreement that every cabin at camp, boys and girls, had to be kept spotless and ready for a daily inspection each morning after breakfast. 

The boy I write about came to get me so he could show me what he did to his cabin. Excitedly, he pointed out the huge hole he had made in the wall next to his bed.

“I can see the stars and the moon, too,” he said proudly.

I congratulated him for finding a way to be inside and outside at the same time. It was his voice being expressed. His problem then, and what remained his problem, was that his voice was all that mattered to him. If others had a voice, he did not care. Wrapped up in his self-centeredness was how he lived his life.  He had his own unique voice, but sadly, it was the only one that meant anything to him. 

A side story: One cabin at camp had practiced and prepared for a horseback overnight. They spent many hours training with the wrangler. On the day that they were to head off into the wilderness for their rare adventure, I had the job of inspecting cabins, and their cabin was a mess.

I told them and their counselor, “No horses until your cabin is spotless. Get me when ready.” 

They called me back minutes later and seeing that their beds were loosely made, I said, “no dice.”

All of the campers, including the counselor, screamed at me. They were very anxious to get to the corral. Once again, I left, and a half-hour later, they came for me. That time, I found the cabin in military shape. Beautiful! “Have a great overnight.”

And they had a memorable time.


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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