There are people in your life who influence your life, add to your life, perhaps even change the course of your life. I would like to acknowledge three women who were significant in my career. When I became a small business owner of a girls’ summer camp, I was enthusiastic and had a passion for being successful but in both cases it was because of the belief of others in me.
I have a lot to be thankful to my mom, Betty Cobb. There’s the obvious. There’s the whole camp director role model thing. But surprising to most, it was the way she affected people and how they grew from her leadership that inspired me the most. My mom was a tough woman, all about do the right thing and sacrifice and for the better good, etc. She had high morals, was often unyielding and worked very, very hard. She loved her family, her students and her campers and counselors. There was a tiny moment when she loved French cooking, too. I enjoyed seeing her explore that because I didn’t see my mom explore a lot that wasn’t innately part of her. She was an excellent cook and I think French cooking was a reach that gave her a new lease on life. One winter she when I was a girl, she went to France and went to cooking school. I digress. Anyway, my mom inspired me to be a hard working, do it yourself person. I wouldn’t be the camp owner/director I am today without my mom. Here’s a picture of her with my dad when she was a young camp owner and director.
The other two women come in tandem. They were both camp directors. Twenty five years ago they approached me together at a camp conference. Like cheerleaders, they rallied and pepped and told me ecstatically how they were happy I was listening to the calling of my family and becoming a fourth generation Cobb family camp owner and director. At the time, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do it. They made me want to do it. There was such glee and infusion of energy in their combined assault on me in the conference lobby of the Center of New Hampshire in Manchester, that I believed in myself that day. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I can remember the clothes I was wearing, the way the light filled the hall, the sound of the conference dimming out behind them as they chimed in unison and gushed over me in excitement. It was a moment in time that has stood still for me. It’s a framed like a picture in my mind. These two camp women, June Gray (with Pat Smith on left) from Camp Wawenock and Jean McMullan from Alford Lake Camp were catalysts for who I am today.
In honor of International Women’s Day, I’d like to thank these three women in my life for helping me believe in myself and carving out the quarter century of my life that has been the center piece of my adult career. I haven’t even started on the hundreds of young women and children and parents I have met on account of my life in camping. That I’ll have to save for another blog.
Happy International Women’s Day 2013.