Four months before the beginning of staff training, Chief Dave Naysmith, my primary source of information about the previous summer’s DL staff and Guides, took me through the lists, person by person.
John Fox had considerable Deerfoot experience, was an Eagle Scout, and basically a solid person. However, while a counselor the previous summer, he had been involved with those who had at least a few beers. DL has a strict no-alcohol policy. If the DL Director learns that a staff member has had any alcoholic beverage between the first day of staff training and his last day in camp, he is history, at least for the rest of the summer.
When I faced these hiring situations, I always remembered some of the stupid things I have done, and been given a second chance!
As the Director of Deerfoot Lodge, my greatest responsibility was the hiring of summer staff. To the very best of my ability I had to learn where each staff member was at the time of hiring on the following questions. With regard to John:
- Does John have Jesus Christ as his Savior, and desire to have Him as the Lord of his life? Dave thought John could say yes to both questions. I would ask John.
- Does John enjoy the out of doors and kids/campers? Yes
- Was John physically and emotionally able to serve through an eleven week DL summer? Yes
- He was a gymnast, and seemed to be emotionally solid. Good energy levels.
- Does John have the camping and personal relationship skills to be a great DL counselor? Yes
- Would John abide by the DL staff standards of conduct? Dave thought John would be true to his word.
I met with John for a lengthy conversation, and then hired John to be a counselor for the next summer. John did well through the three weeks of staff training. At the end of staff training I asked John if he would like to be the leader for the Adirondack High Peaks two week Voyageur hike. He was excited about the opportunity.
I then asked another counselor to be John’s assistant on the trip. Not interested. So I asked another. Not interested. Having worked with John the previous summer, they had no interest in going on a Voyageur trip with John.
When I explained this situation to John, I suggested that he had a couple choices. He could go home, feeling like a failure. Or he could stay and demonstrate to the staff he had learned from his bad decisions of the previous summer.
John stayed, was an excellent counselor, became a DL Lone Eagle, an orthopedic surgeon and today is on the Deerfoot Board of Directors. After I had written the first draft of the above, I sent it to John for his approval, suggestions, etc. His response: “When you list my “accomplishments” please make sure to give God the glory for these, not me. I am where I am because He was faithful… Otherwise, run with it.” John Fox lives In Partnership With God.
Jesus taught his disciples to pray: “Jesus, forgive our sins, as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.” — Matthew 6:12
Jesus also told us how often we are to forgive: “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” — Luke 17:3-4
Because Jesus Christ forgives me, and I forgive others, I can live In Partnership With God.