On one of the weeks, a director had asked my mom to oversee the crafts. During the free-time in the afternoons, kids came and bought materials to make crafts. For several years, another gentleman did a fine job of offering crafts, but they were very limited in variety and they were the same thing each year.
When my mom was tapped to run the crafts, she took it seriously. She got her budget and started planning. Often I was the guinea pig to determine whether what she found would make a good camp craft or not. She would give me the craft and watch to see how long it took me, if I enjoyed it, and probably to see what kind of mess it would make.
By the time camp came around, she had an impressive display of crafts to be made. As the week went on, kids were running out of money because they had not planned on making crafts at all. They had just expected it to be like previous years. As a result, I recall mom even paying out of her own pocket for kids to make items. Kids were sacrificing their canteen money in order to make just one more item.
That year, she changed crafts at the camp for good. She created a new favorite camp activity. There was no turning back to the old way of things. The bar was raised. In fact, her work caught so much attention, they instituted a brand new award of which she was the recipient - Volunteer Rookie of the Year. The camp now has it's own facility where there is a huge craft cabin.
This kind of thing is what my mom was always about. These are the lessons she taught me.
- Take every job seriously.
- Raise the level of excellence.
- Make what you do enjoyable.
- It's not about the money.