Many young directors are paralyzed by the fear of not being perfect. They have grown up in a world of perfect; perfect houses, perfect look, perfect grades, perfect everything… well- sorta/kinda perfect. That was what they were told to achieve by their helicopter parents who hovered over them constantly making sure their lives were perfect and without setbacks or disappointments.
And now you work at camp!
Camp is not perfect. Sometimes duct tape, baling wire, and temporary fixes get us through until there is enough time or enough know-how to fix it right. Sometimes there isn’t enough cash available. Sometimes we have the wrong type of maintenance man available to do the work.
I was raised around a farm. On the farm, we had many ways to accomplish our goals. Our constant saying was, “Good enough for the girls we go with.” We knew the job was not perfect, but we also knew it was “good enuf.” Good enuf that the cows would stay in. Good enuf that tractor would keep running through harvest. Good enuf to keep the water running to the stock tank. We got by and did not labor endlessly over something for too long; the name of the game was to keep it running even if it wasn’t the “perfect” fix.
One of the secrets for younger leaders is to learn when something HAS to be perfect, and when some things can just be ok. There are times that perfect must happen: zip lines, giant swings, and climbing walls must be perfect.
However, camp life is not all trim work.
I don’t trim out new buildings; I have learned that I am not fussy enough to do the job; but I am a great “mudder”. I mud the sheet rock; my work can be sanded down or covered up by texture and paint. It is “good enuf!”
Part of the job of a director is to assign work to the right type of personality. I want the books to be near-perfect; I want a fussy person categorizing expenses and income. Registrations need a detailed person handling them. I don’t want a OCD type of personality mowing, setting up chairs in the chapel, or stacking wood; I want someone who can do the job good and fast.
At a recent CCCA fall sectional event, one director asked about why volunteers are not able to do the job of construction to his standards. It was simple: He was asking them to do something that they were not capable of doing. As the director, I have to decide what type of job I want done, and decide if this staff person or a group of volunteers have the needed skill set capable of completing the job with skill and precision. I usually will opt for splitting wood or lifting sheet rock in place for the “unknown” volunteer.
It will save you many headaches if you will respond back to the high school youth group, “Sure we would love to have you come and volunteer; I have the perfect job for you! Picking up sticks or sweeping out the winter dirt and mouse tracks from our cabins- there is no skill needed- just a willing back and a servant’s heart.”
Match the skill set to the right job; only then you will get the needed results.