Hey Camp George,
Not only is there a lot of administrative work that goes into preparing camp for summer, but there is a lot of work to be done on Maple Lake, too! Everything from raking leaves, to putting in the docks, to planting the garden at Gan Matan… all has to be completed in the spring season. Bob Quinton, our Maintenance Supervisor, is responsible for getting camp ready for the summer season! Bob has been taking care of our Camp George site for over 25 years! No one knows Camp George like Bob knows Camp George!
But Bob does not prepare camp by himself! A small group of staff members join him each season to prepare our camp site. This group is called “The Spring Maintenance Team.” For years, this Team has celebrated what they’ve learned from Bob about taking care of land and taking care of our sacred camping space. We thought it was only appropriate to share a look at these lessons with you today: through the eyes of some of these staff members.
With our gratitude,
Julia Guest, Conference Coordinator and Programming Specialist:
Over the past 6 years, I have had the pleasure of spending my May and June up at camp working with our pre-summer maintenance staff. For 3 years I did it myself and for 3 years I worked with our other teams of staff. During those years I have learned A LOT about what makes camp run smoothly and how we transition our site from the offseason to the camp season. There is so much behind the scenes work that has to be done in order to get camp ready. Our maintenance teams help to put the docks back together after the winter, rake all the fallen leaves into the woods so they don’t cover the paths, convert the lodge into summer offices and infirmary rooms, re-paint ramps, doors and cabin floors, and much more! It takes 6 weeks of hard work to get Camp George ready!
One of the highlights of my time during pre-camp has been getting to know and learn from our Maintenance Supervisor, Bob Quinton. It is an understatement to say that nobody knows camp like Bob does! Bob has been working at the Camp George site for over 25 years (even before it was Camp George!). If you have a question, there is no doubt that Bob knows the answer. He has taught me about the history of our site, and has many stories about when and how certain things were built. He can tell you about the seasons for hunting, fishing, trapping and gardening. He can show you how to fix everything from a toilet to a rooftop and he is the one who maintains our water and sewage systems during the year. I’m even convinced that he can predict the weather! Whenever you see Bob, at camp please make sure to thank him for the work he does.
Avi Freedland, Ski Specialist and current maintenance staff:
I never realized all the things that must happen at camp before it is ready for the summer season. The first few days here have been spent trekking through the woods picking up garbage and I will spend the next few days raking leaves (there are A LOT of them). I thought that I would be doing hammering and building, but I know that once these jobs are accomplished there are many more items on the list! It has been great getting to spend time up north and seeing camp from a different perspective.
Josh Berger, Alumnus:
Working with Bob was a really inspirational experience. He taught me hard skills that I would never have otherwise learned like carpentry, plumbing and electrical work and soft skills like perseverance, patience and a strong work ethic. We put in an honest day’s work week after week. Being up there in the spring before camp got into full swing showed me a side of camp that not many people get to see. You have to move every single dock into place, turn the water and lights on in every cabin, clear away leaves and branches that have fallen over the fall and winter and put a fresh coat of paint on every deck and porch in the camp. Not to mention learning how every drop of water that comes out of our taps is treated on-site under the close eye of Bob.
Once the craziness of the summer arrived, I was able to appreciate camp and the work that goes into maintaining it on a whole new level. Not one bit was taken for granted. Bob’s tireless work is inextricably linked to camp’s success and the fun and safe environment that is created for us all.
Ely Rosenblum, Alumnus:
Working with Bob gave me an incredible look behind the scenes of URJ Camp George. His insight into the inner workings of camp gave me a new appreciation for just how hard the full time camp staff work, and how we can bring that work ethic into our summer programming. Putting together docks, getting the cabins ready and bringing the boats back to shore gets camp ready for another incredible summer!