The Tri-State Camp Conference is only a week away, and we are getting ready to gather, learn and share with other professionals in the camp industry. It’s an amazing conference filled with educational sessions, informal networking, and a fantastic vendor hall. But this year’s conference is extra special for the Camp Iroquois Springs family, because the recipient for the Tri-State Camp Award is our very own Brian “Bubba” Cohen. Bubba is being honored for his dedication and commitment to the camp community. Bubba has been volunteering for the Tri-State Camp conference for over 10 years now, serving as the Exhibitor Logistics chair and on the Steering Committee. He is one of the dedicated camp professionals that give his expertise and time to help organize the conference and make it successful and exciting for all who attend. Bubba takes his job very seriously and is truly passionate about the positive difference that camp makes in the lives of children.
Bubba started his camp life (as the youngest camper) at the age of 7 at Camp Poyntelle-Lewis Village and spent the next 17 years there as a camper, counselor, group leader, head counselor and assistant director. Working at the camp he grew up at was a dream come true. And the dream continued when he joined his former camp counselor, Mark Newfield, at Camp Iroquois Springs to carry on the work he -is so passionate about. Camp is where he became “Bubba”, and still remembers the counselor that gave him his nickname. “Camp gave me an identity, it let me be me, it gave me my legs to get out there and be a leader”. And that is exactly what he gives back to campers and staff each and every summer. “At the core, it’s about the kids”. Bubba loves to see the campers explore, have fun and try new things in a safe environment. He loves getting emails from staff who decide they are changing their career path to work in education or child studies all because of their camp experience. “Everything that happens in camp means something”.
And even though Bubba has spent his life at camp, he still gets butterflies when the buses pull up to camp on opening day. He knows it is game on, and he can’t wait to be a part of the positive changes that will take place for everyone at camp. “I love all the traditions of camp, the rope-burn, girl’s side sing off, color war, spending time with the campers on senior trip. But it’s not just the events that make camp so incredible, it’s watching friendships form and counselors make a difference in the lives of their campers. We know we did a great job when campers get off the camp bus talking about their friends and counselors. That is why we spend six months staffing camp, and finding leaders and role models that will make the summer a success”.
We are so happy that the Tri-State Camp Conference is honoring Bubba (with the 2014 award) for all he gives to the conference and to the camp community. Bubba’s dedication, commitment, humor and passion remind us what camp is all about. Congratulations Bubba…you make a difference!!!!