Getting To Know Gary Ross
POSITION: ACTIVITIES DIRECTOR / STAFFING COORDINATOR
As the Activities Director, Gary oversees and supervises a number of program areas at Iroquois Springs. He works directly with the program department to create special events and extra programs, and helps the staff to run top-notch program areas. Gary prides himself on his ability to work with Group Leaders and Head Counselors to maximize the entire staffs’ ability to become true difference makers!
In addition to his role as the Activities Director, Gary’s role during the off-season is to hire staff members for the upcoming summer.
How many summers have you spent at Iroquois Springs, and what brought you here in the first place?
This will be summer number 14. I came to Iroquois Springs because I was interested in working with children in a fun, outdoor setting.
What do you believe makes Iroquois Springs special for campers and staff?
We have great facilities and activities, but the people really make Iroquois Springs shine. From the top down, the entire staff is passionate and committed to ensuring each camper’s success.
What do you feel helps to create a smooth mid-summer transition as partial summer campers leave and arrive?
The first session campers leave on a high note after experiencing Tribals. We do a good job of getting the second session kids involved in activities with their bunk as soon as they arrive. Once the kids get involved, they usually settle in pretty quickly. Within a day or so, most bunks act as if they have been together all summer.
How do you spend the 10 months waiting for camp to start?
My position with Iroquois Springs is year-round. I spend the “off-season” hiring the next group of difference makers to come to Iroquois Springs the following summer.
What are your hobbies?
Traveling, Fitness, Photography
What are your favorite Iroquois Springs activities, events, traditions?
- Apache Relay
- Junior Boys Fort Battle
- Monday Night Football
- Boys Side Knockout Tournament
Please share a fond memory or two about your time at Iroquois Springs:
The last day of camp is always memorable for me. It is bittersweet because it is sad to watch the kids say goodbye to their friends and counselors, but I love to watch the emotions that each counselor goes through. All of the tears show me that they really got it! They invested in their campers and impacted their lives in so many ways. After spending the winter months hiring the staff, it brings me great satisfaction seeing how much camp meant to them.
As proud as I am of the staff, I also love seeing how the campers treat each other. It shows that we have done a good job teaching them how to do the right thing. One of my favorite examples of this took place last summer.
In our first annual “All-Star” baseball game, the pitcher was facing an inexperienced batter. Rather than blowing fastballs by him, the pitcher moved closer to the batter and threw lob pitches to give the batter a chance to hit the ball. It was a terrific show of sportsmanship!