With deliberate effort, I pushed myself away from my big old publisher’s desk, leaned back in my no-arch-support publisher’s chair, and let my unfocused gaze travel to the ceiling. Slowly my mind traveled to the beginning of a classic Louis L’Amour story set in the Wild, Wild West.
The smell of dry dust touched my nostrils and cracks spidered across the baked brown earth of the Sonoran high desert, an ever-present reminder that life here in the American Southwest was governed by water. You either had it, knew where it was or died trying to find it.
Luckily, my canteen was half full and the next water hole was less than five miles away. I walked my buckskin slowly along the dry creek bed and turned my thoughts to the mission at hand. I was on my way to Los Angeles to start my life. The way I figured it, Los Angeles was going to be an important city and a good place for a man with ambition to make his fortune.
As the daydream unfolded, I found myself struggling to outwit Apaches, guiding a lost wagon train to the correct pass in the high Sierra Madre and, of course, rescued a damsel in distress.
Typical of any Louis L’Amour story, I rose to the top and achieved my dreams. But, in the back of my mind was the very clear understanding there was no real end to my work, no final victory, but rather another challenge over the horizon, another trail to ride, another damsel in distress to rescue. I recognized on some innate level the true joy of life is simply living — each day another chapter in a never-ending story.
The incessant ringing of the phone brought me back to my no-support chair, behind the same oversized desk with an unwelcome thud, but not before the significance of my short-lived nap and dream hit me. And with a smile, I reached for the phone and answered saying, “Good afternoon, this is Rodney.”
As chance would have it, the person on the other end of the phone wanted to talk about Camp Business LIVE! — the hands-on training event they’d been hearing about in Ohio.
Aha, I thought… my present-day Los Angeles. The current chapter in my real never-ending story. Let me tell you all about it…
Camp Business LIVE! is taking place September 13-14 at Salt Fork State Park in Cambridge, Ohio (a little over one hour east of Columbus). It features practical, how-to, hands-on product demos (drive tractors, install docks, ride a mountain board, etc.), six networking events and ACA/Ohio-sponsored workshops/seminars in seven areas of camp programming (Grounds/Sports Turf, Waterfront, Aquatics, Administrative/Marketing, Parks/Playgrounds, Sports/Recreation/Fitness and Programming).
But, more important, it’s a celebration of all that’s good in camps and, by extension, our country. I personally invite you to come down, take a look and, if you have a moment, introduce yourself to me and tell me about your own never ending story. We’d love to share your stories with others in the camp world and, personally, I’d like to meet you.
Hope to see you in September!
Rodney J. Auth
President & Publisher