When the summer staff arrived for three weeks of training, the first few days included 4 one hour blocks of time during which the basic principles of management were taught and reviewed. I introduced the subject, the section chiefs would teach The One Minute Manager, Leadership and the One Minute Manager, The One Minute Manager Builds High Performance Teams (Ken Blanchard’s series) and I would wrap up the three hours of teaching by pulling together the principles taught over the previous days. The staff would then see how the DL Board of Directors managed the DL ministry through me: the goal setting and evaluation procedure, the approval of program and facility changes, the major equipment purchases, the budget, the reports I prepared, the Board meeting agendas and meeting schedules.
Why spend hours on management principles? Every DL staff member is managed by someone, and almost every DL staff member manages someone. It helps greatly if everyone is managing in the same way, using the same language.
Each Cabin Counselor manages 5-10 campers. If he does not manage well, a camper may not get the extra attention needed to earn his basic in swimming. If a counselor poorly manages camper conflict or bullying, many campers will be negatively impacted. If he manages a hike poorly, there may be a van accident, campers may get horrible food, a camper may get lost in the woods, and an injured camper may not get the care he needs. If a counselor manages his time poorly, 1 on 1 time may not exist and cabin devotions may prove meaningless. Every counselor must be a very good manager if every camper is to be safe, well cared for and encouraged to grow as a godly young man. Almost nothing listed above is directly observed, except by the other counselor in the cabin. Cabin counselors have a huge responsibility – each must be carefully chosen and well trained.
Each Section Chief manages 8 to 12 counselors. He works to assure that each member of his staff are doing their job well, while staffing instructional areas, supervising hike and menu selections, and challenging every counselor to be all the Lord would have him to be.
The Director of Food Service manages 12 kitchen staff and a food budget of over $75,000. He is doing his job if those on his staff grow as godly men while learning kitchen, people and instructional area skills while producing great food and staying on budget. Poor kitchen management = frustrated staff, poor food, money wasted, and healthy germs.
The Facility Director manages a staff of 4-7, the care and safe functioning of 14 maxi-vans, 2-3 station wagons, 1-2 cars, 2 generators, 3 lawn mowers, a weed whacker, 3 fire pumps, acres of lawn, miles of road, the maintenance of 40+ buildings and new construction while keeping his top priority in mind: encouraging those in his care to discipline themselves as they work to be godly men…while learning people, maintenance, and instructional area skills.
The Guide Leaders take responsibility for 12-18 future leaders of Deerfoot Lodge. After camp begins, the Guide leaders have minimal supervision as they lead their program that includes being out of camp for 4 weeks.
If the Nurse does not do her job: infections, undiagnosed fractures, improper medications, and serious illness through food allergies will happen.
The Office Staff manages 650 camper registrations, parental challenges, cabin assignments, trips to the airport to pick up and drop off campers, instructional area records, and $750,000. And that is not the half of it!
The Director, is responsible for all of the staff and campers – plus contributions of many kinds, reports to the NY state health department, the American Camping Association, The Council on Financial Accountability, and the Board of Directors, while working to provide the context and encouragement for growth in the lives of those on staff, the most important of which is growth toward godliness.
As I wrote the above, I was reminded of the incredible responsibility carried by each DL staff member.
Each of us is a manager with significant responsibility. May we be good managers of what the Lord has entrusted to our care!
When we live In Partnership With God, we can manage well, and God is glorified.
“Give an account of your management” Luke 16:2