David Naysmith…A Gracious Man – For God’s Glory #127

Dave came to DL in 1957 to work as a kitchen boy – he was 14 years old. He worked his way up to become Director of Food Service/Head Chef in 1963. DL had a tradition of excellent food, and Dave proved up to the challenge – he was 20 years old. He served in this position for 16 years, until 1981, and was responsible for the planning and preparation of at least 10,000 meals!

In 1965 Dave established the Sunday Morning Sticky Bun tradition many of us have enjoyed every Sunday morning we have been at DL. He got the basic recipe from the U.S. Army!

In 1966, when the new kitchen was added to the end of the dining hall, it was Dave who set up and organized this new area which was about 4 times the size of the former kitchen area – where tripping is now located.

Dave was drafted into the Army from 1967-68, and, because of his math background, was assigned to work on computers in the Pentagon. Computers at that time were large, cooled with fans, and used punch cards. Dave learned how to write programs and use computers as they were first being developed, and has been using them since that time.

During the summer of 1980, Dave and Elaine’s youngest child, Carolyn, was born. Dean Dover, “Wazican”, was graduating from the Culinary Institute of America and stepped into the position of Director of Food Service/Head Chef. Dave, Elaine, and baby Carolyn returned to DL for the last few weeks of the summer, and the next summer Dave and Wazi worked together in the kitchen.

For many, Dave Naysmith was the rock of Deerfoot Lodge. He had been at DL while six camp directors came and went. He had a solid reputation as an excellent camp chef, and was a Lone Eagle, indicating he was competent to teach in at least six instructional areas. Dave was the man I most heavily leaned upon when I became the Director of Deerfoot Lodge in 1982.

My first summer David Naysmith quietly stepped out of the kitchen to serve as Point Section Chief. Dave knew he was doing his job well – and he also believed Wazi, having spent 3 years in the Culinary Institute of America (one of the very best in the US) was able to take the DL food service to an even higher level of excellence.

Never once did I hear Dave criticize Wazi…never. Never did he complain that he was no longer the Director of Food Service/Head Chef. My first summer Dave served with excellence as the Point Section Chief. The second summer he served as Tripping Director. In preparation for this position he helped DL move to excellent trail food by checking out and developing recipes during the school year. Many of these remain in the current tripping manual. I remember Dave had the practice of, whenever possible, hiking into the woods to meet the campers at the end of their hike. He wanted to know how they were doing, what could be improved.

God used Dave’s army training in the development of material for use at DL. In 1984 Dave began the tedious process of putting the DL staff manual on the available IBM PC. This PC was slow and had 16 kilobytes of memory – less than the cell phones we use today. Since Dave put the DL staff manual on the PC, it has been annually updated.

Even when we seek to live for the Glory of God, it is seldom easy to accept change, to support change, to encourage change. It takes a gracious man to do this. David Naysmith was such a man.

Dave continues to live In Partnership With God!

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