Monday, January 18, 2021

1982 - Learning to serve others, who Lead and Serve Others

Camp Bluff Lake Map (San Bernardino County, California, USA)

(Fifty Nifty Years in the United States Series)

I’ve told this story several times now. So much of my life I trace to a few different events and individuals.

While we did not run a session of camp until summer 1983, and it was a fateful meeting at the downtown YMCA in Pasadena with Ron Perry that set it all in motion. Another member of the Temple City Y team and myself sat down at the urging of our program director, Maxine, to find out all that we had to do to have a Temple City YMCA session at Bluff Lake.

I think it was one of my first and somewhat formal business proposal meetings. We asked questions and Ron gave us a clear overview of it all. He was so gracious with his time. I remember that huge desk and the huge figure behind it. And during that summer of ‘83 and during that week that week that I discovered who I was to become.

It was during that session one evening, my junior leader, Mike Nordin, and I were taking a break. It was raining and a bit cold so we went down to the KYBO to stay warm and dry.

Now a KYBO is the restroom and shower facility. There were some benches in the shower area and we sat there and talked. At one point the camp director, Ron came in to say hello. Now Ron was a big gregarious guy who was one of those people that you just wanted to be around. He was tall and spoke in a sing song mesmerizing way. I am sure each of you have know someone like this.

So we are in the KYBO...oh did I mention that KYBO, besides being a radio station outside of Barstow California - at camp KYBO or K Y B O stands for “keep your bowels open.” When you’re at camp it’s an important place to know where to go. we’re in the KYBO and in walks Ron and he starts asking us questions and just checking in. After a few minutes he asked, “so how long is your break?” I told him we had to get back up to our cabin now. This is where it got interesting. Out of no-where, he pulls two soda bottles out of his back pockets and says, take 20 more minutes, I’ll go and watch your cabin for you. He handed us the sarsaparilla and walked out. I turned to Mike and said, “someday I want his job.”

I did not fully grasp what that meant at the time. I gained so much from those early days. Ron was truly a leader invoking John Maxwell's Law of Legacy. "Leadership is the one thing you cannot delegate." It was his thoughtful exercise of service that taught me to lead and serve others. And of course if this shows anything, it is John's 2nd Law of Influence. "Leadership is simply about influencing people. Nothing more, nothing less."

Not an actual view, it is a super imposed view of main gate and the lake.

Always grateful to Ron Perry Sr. for the influence of giving his time in service of others as we pass our 50 plus year mark in these United States.

Post Script - I want to take a moment and invite those who are reading this to consider a comment. Let me know where you are in the world and your thoughts on leadership as well. I also invite you to hit the "FOLLOW" button so you will get the latest story reminder. 


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