Last week, we made the announcement that our new Boys Head Counselors for Summer 2010 will Brian Stern for Senior Boys and Will Armon for Lower Boys. And whereas we are excited for Brian and Will in these new roles and welcome them, it also means that some staff will not be back for Summer 2010. After eight summers at camp, Ken Ricken will not be returning to camp. Ken e-mailed me a few weeks ago and asked if he could guest blog so that he could say goodbye to everyone. I thought this was a terrific idea. So, here is Ken:
There are so many memories and good times from every summer, that it would be impossible to pick out the best ones. There are, however, some highlights to each summer. Audrey and I have had the privilege of chaperoning multiple trips including Disney twice, Toronto twice, Lake Placid twice and Boston once. We have always felt a closeness to each group we have chaperoned and have loved all of the trips. Running Color War was always special but the way the CITs take control of the camp and lead the amazing competition for five days never ceases to impress me. I have been caught up in the sentiment at the end of Sing night every year and have usually had to wipe away a tear while watching those CITs acknowledge the culmination of a journey that began 7 or 8 years earlier. I have stayed up all night long on Senior Night and marveled at how fast 7 weeks can go by and at how important relationships can be built in such a short time. I have had the honor of working with some superstar Group Leaders and staff members who have made my job a pleasure and given me confidence that there are terrific, young leaders out there who will look after kids and teach them and help them become better citizens. I have had some wildly entertaining meals and meetings, both professionally and socially, with good friends and confidants, who I hope to remain close with forever.
I would like to congratulate the new Head Counselors who I know will be dynamic and successful in their roles. I want to thank so many people for providing the entire Ricken family with life-changing experiences. To Terri Saltzman…You have given me, but more importantly, my children, the gift of camp and you could not possibly have a bigger or kinder heart. Your love and dedication to this place is so evident in all that you do. Thanks to Brian for being a great friend and leader and for giving me this opportunity to say goodbye. Thanks to all the parents who have trusted me to help watch over and guide your children for 7 weeks each year.
I have received some really nice messages from kids, staff and parents since my camp retirement was announced and I want to thank all those who wrote for their wonderful words, which I will always save and re-read. I would love to stay in touch and can always be reached at KAR5460@aol.com or on Facebook. I will see everyone at the camp reunion!
Thank you so much Ken for eight great years! It has been a true honor in working so closely with you in our summers together. Your spirit, enthusiasm and dedication will always be appreciated.