October 26, 2020
5 days till National Vocation Awareness Week
#20 in a series of 25 short stories
July 18, 1997, I walked into the CYO/Camp Howard office for the first time as an employee. The day coincided with my Mom’s birthday so an easy date to remember. I shadowed the Executive Director until September 1st, the beginning of the fiscal year. I learned a ton during those three months and felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from the sitting director. I also realized we had a mess on our hands. Relationships with Catholic entities such as the Catholic Sentinel did not exist. There were no Catholics in the Catholic Youth Organization! Not that everyone needs to be Catholic but with a name like that, someone should be! There was a lot of dysfunction everywhere and I realized silently within myself that things needed cleaned up and it would take some time to get it to where it needed to be.
There are so many things I would like to say but feel it would be inappropriate in this format. Suffice it to say, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. I found another mentor, this time a business mentor, in Dick Weigel, the Executive Board chair. His daytime job was helping businesses liquidate that were not making it or helping them get back on their feet. Camp Howard had just lost $127,000 at camp that summer so we were the perfect business for a guy like Dick.
Vocation awareness comment: There were moments that had me shaking in my boots again, but each time I knew I had to confront the situations because if I didn’t who would? I kept asking myself that question. I continued to be grateful for the time to be able to spend in cleaning things up, but it was a daunting task that took me about 8 years to completely turn around.