Contact info: email@example.com
Cabins: 1999 Gopher (Counselor); 2000 Gopher (Head Counselor); 2001-2002 (Junior Camp Director); 2003 (Assistant Director); 2004 (Golf Camp Counselor); 2005-2006 (Tennis Camp Director); 2008 – Present (Camp Doctor)
Education: BS Drake University, MD University of North Dakota, Residency Hennepin County Medical Center, Endocrinology Fellowship University of Minnesota
Occupation: Chair of Endocrinology at Sanford Health, Medical Director of Informatics, Assistant Professor of Medicine at The University of North Dakota
Tell us how your adventure with Camp Lincoln began.
Believe it or not, I answered a newspaper ad in 1999. I arrived halfway through first session on a Rally Day, knowing very little about camp as this was before CL/CLH had much of a website. It remains a vivid memory, hearing the cabin songs from the parking lot, and meeting one of my best friends to this day, André Brewer (Camp Lincoln Director; S1990-2003, S2005-2019), by the waterfront.
Did any of your family members attend or work at camp?
My family has had a wide range of camp experiences. My wife Tracie has served as a tennis camp co-director and camp physician, and 2 of my 3 children have been campers. I met my lifelong friend and current nanny (going on 12 years!) Tanya Frick (S2000-2002) at Camp Lincoln in 1999, when she was the office director. She later went on to work in the winter office and serve as Lake Hubert’s assistant director.
What are a few of your favorite memories from Camp Lincoln?
There are so many. . . but a few that stand out are Slade Bradbury’s (1985-1990, S1999-2001, S2003) Ole Clubbers taking fire watch a bit too far and throwing dining hall benches and entire trees into the fire. You can still see the effects on the tree canopy today! Rally day was a blast, Chris “Bama” Moore’s (2004) Senior Cabin toga party stands out. There is something about uninhibited, happy children dancing together that feeds my soul.
Opening day was always a highlight. I remember Sam Cote (1951-1958, S1960-2019) and Lafe Larson (1979-1983, S1984-1988, S1990-2003, S11) taking so much pride in the campgrounds, sweeping Lincoln Lodge at night and picking up the smallest bits of trash. Their loyalty was infectious. Even those activities that I despised at the moment, like rigging sailboats in May or slapping mosquitoes at archery, seem to get better with age.
One summer Robert Wells (1994, S2006) and I ran Junior Camp and decided to run an event called Raditude. We had no idea what it was or was going to be, but pumped it up for weeks prior in the dining hall. It ended up just being stations on the athletic field planned last minute, but due to the weeks of anticipation the campers loved it and I still hear about how Raditude was an all-time favorite activity.
What is your favorite camp quote and when did it come about?
Put your heart across the line and your feet will follow – Cam Scott (1988-1991, S2004-2005).
What are some of the things you learned at camp?
The value of being true to yourself. Either my first or second summer at camp, I met Jon “Red” Thomson (S1999-2002, S2005-2007). Picture a very large midwestern guy with crazy red hair and a crazy red beard, who was an All-American Wrestler. He was making hats at the arts and crafts shed. He taught me how to sew. Camp was always a safe place where you could be yourself instead of what others want you to be.
What was your favorite camp meal or dining tradition?
Without a doubt rally day bagel dogs!
My favorite dining tradition almost got me fired in the summer or 2002. We decided to change the traditional camp songs to “counselor songs.” Instead of B-I-N-G-O, we sang “There was a cabin that had a counselor and Jimbo was his name-o! J-I-M-B-O!” By the end of the summer, almost all the counselors had their own song, which campers loved, but understandably Ruggs (Executive Director, 1979-1987, S1988-1991, S1998-2019) and André (Camp Lincoln Director; S1990-2003, S2005-2019) didn’t love so much.
You mentioned life-long camp friends earlier. Can you elaborate on any these lasting camp friendships?
I’ve been fortunate to remain close to several camp friends. Some of my best camp relationships have been with CL/CLH alumni who I was not close to during my summers at Lincoln. Andrew Wetherell (1993-1998 and I have bonded during numerous reunions despite not knowing each other during traditional camp sessions. I have been fortunate to know JJ Johnson (1983-1985, 1990-1992, S1994, S1996-1997) through alumni events, even though we never spent a summer together on Lake Hubert!
What did you love most about Camp? What is the biggest takeaway you have from camp?
One of my favorite activities was Gopherball. This is kind of a long story, but worth the read. In the summer of 2000, Dave Hutchins (S1996-1998) and I had a great bunch of Gopher campers, but being the youngest they were often on the sidelines of junior camp tetherball and roof ball tournaments. Feeling like they were not welcome at other cabins, they decided to invent a game of their own, in the backyard of Gopher Cabin. The first game of Gopherball, which is now a camp staple, included a football, some rolled-up socks, a life jacket, and 12 very skilled 7-9-year-olds. Their energy was palpable throughout junior camp, and one by one the other cabins came over to ask what we were playing. By the end of the night the Gophers had invited the older cabins to join the game, and the rest is CL history. It really epitomized CL/CLH’s inclusiveness and the idea that every camper can make a difference, regardless of age or cabin or how long you have been attending camp.
What are some of the things you learned at camp? Favorite activities?
Out of the core values, I think my favorite is community. Camp taught me the value of protecting each other and feeling safe. A good example of this was when inclement weather would strike. While these storms could be scary for both campers and staff, a little reassurance and a community gathering in the center chalet went a long way to prevent fears.
What else would you like your Camp Family to know?
One of my good camp friends, Jake Abel (S2001-20017), said it best. It does not matter how many years you were at camp. It does not matter if your parents went to camp. It does not matter if you were a counselor, camper, director, or kitchen staff, you made a difference. There are leadership opportunities everywhere in life, but it is up to you to make the most of them.
For those of you wanting a nostalgia blast from staff training, check out “Lincoln Legends: CL OSD video” on YouTube.