Congratulations Ron Hall on receiving the 2017 Halsey Gulick Award!
For more than two decades, this year's Halsey Gulick Award winner has brought to youth camping a creative, consistent, and exemplary commitment to children and the camp organizations that serve them. From his ten years at Camp O-AT-KA, to his current position as Maine Summer Camps Executive Director, Ron Hall has built on his long-time tenure as an educator in continuing to create positive camp experiences for youngsters from all backgrounds. At Waynflete School one administrator says his impact was "immeasurable." The same is true of his current role.
Ron sees youth camping with a broad and effective lens. At Camp O-AT-KA he created a program that met the needs of all boys with all interests. Ron was the force behind the creation of an arts facility that included photography, stained glass, and pottery studios, not to mention rocketry, fly tying and rod building. Ron's impact ensured that all boys could pursue or discover a passion. They learned the wonder of developing their own film in a state-of-the-art darkroom, soldering stained glass, or creating their own pen on a woodshop lathe. At the same time, he expanded the camp's trips and Junior Maine Guide programs. All the while, Ron demonstrated the skills that those in the Maine youth camping community know so well: a sense of humor, endless energy, unassailable collaboration and communication skills, and an enthusiastic persistence that sees a solution to every challenge.
ACA New England has also been the beneficiary of Ron's talent. He has served as board Vice-President, Public Relations and Camp Information Task Force chairs, and was the recipient of an award for meritorious service. He is as generous as he is able.
Ron has brought all these abilities to his leadership of Maine Summer Camps. Since assuming the role of Executive Director more than three years agom Ron has worked tirelessly to support Maine camps. He has done so with that same full-spectrum perspective that was so effective at Camp O-AT-KA.
He has secured grant funding that has created capacity with camp alumni and demonstrated to business members the value of their donations. Maine Timberland Charitable Trust grants have funded expansion of the Junior Maine Guide Program and have enabled deserving campers from Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Camp Natarswi to train for and attend JMG Test Camp.
Ron has also reached beyond the camping community to raise awareness of Maine camps and their impact on the State of Maine. By connecting with the Maine Tourism Association and Maine chambers of commerce he has generated increased exposed for Maine camps. Similarly, he has utilized a weekly blog post and social media to heighten awareness of the camping community. And whether or not a camp is an MSC member, Ron is willing to answer questions thoroughly and thoughtfully. He is a true advocate. Furthermore, in looking outward to promote Maine camps, Ron has increased the number of Maine Summer Camps business members. Among the benefits of those additional members is their sponsorship of educational programs benefiting camp personnel and, in turn, the children they host each summer.