by Daniel Freeman
Frank Donley has found his personal fountain of youth.
Donley, the outdoor skills director at Camp Horseshoe Scout Reservation, near Rising Sun, is in his early 20s. He said he "feels like a kid again" when he works at Camp Horseshoe each summer.
"Living here and working here, its something new every day. I have never worked a day here where there hasn't been a positive outcome. Most people my age don't have the opportunity to come back to camp year after year. I would say I definitely feel younger when I am here but at the same time being on staff at Horseshoe, there is a lot of responsibility" said Donley, who has worked at the camp since 2013.
Even-though Donley feels young, he still has a job to do. That job is teaching qualifications to earn merit badges to the scouts.
After all the teaching and planning is over for the day, he continues to train his staff during down time by telling stories of his experiences and bonding with his staff and the scouts.
Although many people might think life at camp is monotonous, Donely says that’s not the case.
"Life (at camp) it's kind of you do the same thing every day and every week for eight weeks. That's what a lot of people might think, but that is really not the case. Every week you have a whole new array of personalities and scouts because we get to work with a whole new group of scouts each week. So it's really never the same thing every week and every summer," said Donley.
Donley and camp director Jake Siegal don't come back year after year for just an ordinary job. They value the life lessons they both teach and learn. They are dedicated to their jobs and improving the lives of scouts who visit camp Horseshoe.
"What brought me back (to camp) is the impact that you know you are having on the youth from all over. We have youth from as far as Georgia, Texas, and New York. We also do character development and personal fitness and they are two of the main things the Boy Scouts focus on," said Siegal.
"I really believe in scouting and scout craft and what I teach every summer. I believe that every scout should leave this camp having the knowledge to go out into the world to be prepared for life as they walk out of this camp at the end of the week," said Donley. "The goal for me and my staff is to make sure every single scout that walks through our camp leaves more prepared as a scout than when they came. That's the goal that keeps bringing me back each year and the staff here is awesome."
On average there are about 325 kids that the camp will host and teach merit badge requirements to each week.