I have been thinking about this topic for a long time, and I believe that today being International Women’s Day is the perfect day to write on this topic. The most important knowledge I have gained in my life has come from women.
My leadership qualities in terms of Camp Allen were shaped by my mother Mary, who in my opinion is one of the most important and underrated figures in the field of disability and non profits in New Hampshire. I am also heavily influenced by my wife Amie who keeps me grounded, organized, and plays an important role in how I make decisions. I could not be more proud of her, and I know she is going to teach our son to be a wonderful, kind, and caring man.
It would be fair to say that Camp Allen in its current form is shaped by women. The barbecue’s, Christmas in July, and outstanding Lion’s Club support would not be possible without Terri. Our medical system and our camper’s health relies on the hard work of Lisa. The great knowledge of non profits and fundraising has Camp Allen moving in a positive direction because of Judie. We are organized and looked after financially for the years of service Deb has given Camp Allen, and we are lucky to have her. I know our campers are safe because of the dedication that our nurses have to not only our campers and staff, but to Camp Allen’s mission. And to our staff, 75% of which are women, caring is what we do, and in my opinion we do it better than anyone else. You are the reason we have been changing lives every summer for 86 years.
Lastly I would like to honor our women campers, their mothers, siblings, and carers who inspire us everyday. Our women campers like Sharleen, Jackie, Sandy, and countless others give us love and laughs that remind us that what we do is important. Parents and siblings like Denise, Ginny, Maureen, and Rosie amaze me every summer that they put what they love most in our care. I love what I do because people like you trust me, and I thank my lucky stars for that every day.
Outside of Camp Allen I have been spending every Friday going to the University of New Hampshire to take part in the New Hampshire/Maine Leadership in Neurodevelopment Disabilities Program. I happen to be the only man in the program, and to be honest I find it really intimidating. Not because I am the only man, but because all of these women are incredibly intelligent and passionate. But I have also learned something very valuable from my LEND experience so far, the future is female, and we will all be better off because of it.
To all the women in my life, thank you for all that you have done for me and for Camp Allen, it truly means the world.