Friday, December 30, 2011

LLDC Salutes Jason Samuel- An Exceptional Individual!

At Liberty Lake, we take pride in having the greatest team of staff members we can possibly assemble, and we get better and stronger each year. More and more experienced staff return, and more and more Campers evolve into outstanding staff- seeking to "pay it forward" from their amazing Camp experiences. I'm proud of our outstanding team members at Liberty Lake- both year-round and seasonal. We are fortunate to have some very dynamic performers, eccentric characters, and dedicated, hard working wonderful people- And one of our best ever is riding off into the sunset at the end of this month.

Long-time Assistant Director Jason Samuel is moving on in the Camping world, having recently accepted a job as a Camp Director at a Resident (Sleepaway) Camp beginning in January. We will miss Jason greatly- but it is a great opportunity, and we wish him the best.

Jason Samuel, LLDC Assistant Director 2004-2011

Jason leaves us after 7 wonderful years with a unique opportunity to help lead a onetime great Camp back into prominence. Replacing Jason will be challenging, as his talents were so varied and so many- From hiring, to the pool, the lake, outside program facilities, the high and low ropes course which he helped build, dealing with contractors, American Camp Association standards accreditation, being a true extension of "Me" outside during the Camp day- I could go on.

But what I want to put forth with this blog is something about Jason that I feel is EXTRA special. Something that you only see in the top tier of employees in any organization. Jason worked at Liberty Lake the past seven years as if he were an owner. What does that mean? It doesn't mean that he used his company card on lavish vacations- on the contrary, he'd probably ask permission to buy a pack of gum. What I'm talking about is job commitment, work ethic, and selfless way of seeing the big picture. No matter how difficult the situation, Jason did what it took to get the job done.

The newest generations that have entered the workforce- Gen Y and the new "Digital Generation" have a reputation for NOT being like their parent's generation. Our parents toiled away at thankless jobs, dedicating their lives to their families, becoming the first in their family to attend college, living with the core necessities of life, looking forward to the annual week down at the shore, and the occasional trip to Disney. My Generation (X), in an effort to give our kids more than what we have, generally spoiled our children, and created a generation of well-meaning, but entitled young people. This is a generation that despite the poor economy, only works at jobs that they enjoy, lives at home well into their twenties, lives for today- doesn't plan for the future, and aren't so good at dealing with disappointment (because their parents protected them from it for so many years). Jason was a throwback to the old days.

From the first day he worked at LLDC, until this last week- Jason was in early, stayed late, worked until his assignments were done, didn't look at the clock, didn't take days off, worked at home when he was sick, always went the extra mile, got his hands dirty (you don't even want to know the details), and kept a positive disposition through it all- and it was real. That was Jason.

Overseeing so many areas at Camp, Jason understood the delicate balance of what was best for Camp and the Campers- with what was best for the budget. He saw the monstrous pool pumps in regards to their relevance and efficiency- as well as their replacement cost and electrical usage ($$). He knew when it was important to spend money, and when it was fiscally prudent to find a cheaper way- and it wasn't his money! He was getting paid the same regardless. He often made fiscal choices that made his job more difficult, but that was Jason- he felt an ownership at his job, as if he were an owner. He worked his job as if it were his money. For Jill and me, the ones who pay the mortgage each month, we were very fortunate to have Jason as an assistant director for so many years.

Jason can't and won't be replaced by one person. Like a good sports team, we will band together, dividing and conquering from now through the summer and beyond, and Liberty Lake will continue to flourish. But Jason's spirit, just like his many contributions- will remain with us for years to come.

Onward and upward- Good luck Jason, we will miss you!

If you’d like to say goodbye to Jason, you can still Email him at