Former Camp Sea Gull Director
Years at Camp:
Head Counselor - Camp 2, 1964, 1965
Head Counselor - Camp 3, 1966, 1967
Years on Professional Staff:
Personnel Director, 1967 - 1989
Camp Director, 1991 – 2005
Please provide s brief history of your Camp story. How were you first introduced to Sea Gull? How has it fit into your professional life and career path? I was introduced to Sea Gull by my wife, Cille who was a counselor at Camp Seafarer at the time. Billy Hubbard, Head Counselor of Camp 1, recruited me from years at Camp Hemlock in Waynesville, NC to join him as Head Counselor of Camp 2. Don Cheek interviewed me, and Wyatt Taylor gave me a contract.
Who at Camp was most influential and impactful to you? How so? I would have to say Wyatt Taylor. His expectation and encouragement to be your best have been a lasting legacy for me. This legacy was driven home in daily gatherings around a coffee table in the old Central YMCA in Raleigh. In those often heated conversations Wyatt made it clear his intention to make Sea Gull the "best camp of all." That challenge didn't mean the best Y camp, but the best camp of ALL. That meant the best sailboats, the best engines, and the best T-shirts. The expectation for which we were taught to aim was high. Following that expectation, Lil Taylor developed Camp Seafarer as a sister camp to Sea Gull that was similar yet uniquely different. Following that legacy, Cille and her staff aggressively worked to make Seafarer the best camp of ALL for girls. This legacy to be your best, to follow that good energy deep within each of us, led me to New England and to direct Camp Becket-in-the-Berkshires. It led me back for a wonderful opportunity with an outstanding staff to serve as Sea Gull's Director for 14 years. It took me on to New Bern to serve as Parish Associate at First Presbyterian Church ... and...you guessed it - to offer the best centering prayer group of All. The energy, opportunity, and encouragement to "be your very best" is the context and fuel for character development and the energy in the Sea Gull experience. Without this element, character development withers into empty slogans and sugary "thoughts for the day." Like so many other significant legacies that have made us who we are, this treasure is easily buried and lost without intentional cultivation.
Which lessons, values or skills have you carried forward from Camp into your personal and professional life? Experiential education. Character is formed by being modeled and practiced. Little can really be changed by talking about it. We all need to be shown that is works and makes life better.
What is your greatest Camp accomplishment? Our administrative staff developed the Character Counts Award that recognized members in our c\Camp community who lived the values about which we shared each day.
Tell us about your favorite Camp memory. I remember sitting with Jim Epps in the first office we shared behind the front desk at the Raleigh Y. We were distressed over the response from one of the "Camp icons" who was not returning the next year. In our naivete, we feared Camp surely couldn't go on. We were wrong then and were proven wrong many times over. I came to realize that it is the team, not the individual, that preserves and continues the impact of camp into the future. The "Team" always needs the opportunity, the encouragement, and the expectation to try your best to make Camp Sea Gull "THE BEST CAMP OF ALL."