Can Camp Directors Have a Life Outside of Camp?

What pastime would you love to get back to- girl and dolphin

We hear the stories often–camp directors who work so hard and long that they don’t have time to enjoy their own lives. A work/life balance sometimes seems impossible.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Case in point: Sheryl Gilmore.

Sheryl runs an amazing camp called Acadia Institute of Oceanography. Her camp gives science-minded kids (which, let’s face it, is virtually EVERY kid at some point in their lives) a very hands-on experience not only in a classroom, but also in the lab, the field, and even offshore.

Sheryl’s operation is located in a historic building, which renders her “land-locked,” so growth is not her goal.

But there was a time when the economy hit her camp hard and she, like most every other camp director, had to look to the future. Her solution was…well, our solution: Camp & Class Manager software that allowed her to take her camp online. She saw a steady return to capacity.

But if Sheryl’s goal isn’t growth, what is it?

Getting Her Life Back

Like most people who choose to invest themselves in shaping the next generation, Sheryl’s career focus was based on her skillset: her education, expertise in and enjoyment of the field of oceanography. You can see by looking at the images on Acadia’s website that this has to be one of the most interesting jobs ever!

It seems to align with Confucius famous observation: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

But no matter how much you love the focus of your camp, directors’ attention is usually pulled toward the business and administrative side of running the camp.


A camp success story–for the kinds of people who are drawn to this industry–will never be calculated completely on financial success. After all, if your job stresses you out and diminishes your quality of life, how is that succesAcadia Institute of Oceanography thumbnails?

The true measure of Acadia’s success story is Sheryl’s statement, “Now I have time to enjoy my life.”

Read Sheryl’s story.

Find out how you can get your life back, too:

Get life back CTA girl- dolphin