I heard someone say that innovation is not a young person’s game, it’s an inspired person’s game. He could have been talking about almost anything; it is certainly true of camp leadership. The problem is that leadership also requires a lot of experience, and experience fights inspiration. So how do we strike the right balance? How can we be the most inspired camp director in the room, and also the most experienced?
Two words: outdoor adventure. Adventure, taking meaningful risk, requires creativity at the very moment we are most afraid of failure. It also requires us to commit to a course of action longer than we would otherwise. If this is what we want for our campers it should also be what we want for ourselves.
So commit to spending some time on the trail, river, rock, or maybe just take the risk of investing in a person who may respond poorly, because these kinds of adventures are about muscle memory. They are about learning to take the right risks so we can play the inspired person’s game.