Meet: B.J. Murray, new Senior Operations Director at camp

I am very excited to have found someone with so much experience and who has a heart for YMCA camping. Camp Wood YMCA will benefit from B.J.’s heart and his knowledge.
— Ken Wold, Executive Director

Camp Wood YMCA is growing—what a blessing as we enter our 100th summer! Camp’s growth means that our year-round staff team is growing as well.

This year, we are happy to welcome B.J. Murray into the newly created Senior Operations Director position. B.J. and will oversee the complex logistics of Camp Wood’s summer camps and year-round retreat programs, ensuring that they all run smoothly and meet the needs of our campers and families. He will work closely with Executive Director, Ken Wold, and other staff to make sure Camp Wood starts its second century of service just as strong as it began its first.  

We are excited about the experience and enthusiasm he brings to this position. B.J. brings with him his wife, Stephanie, and their two children, Callen and Will. When you see them this summer, be sure to welcome them to the Camp Wood YMCA family!

Welcome to Camp Wood YMCA! What do you think of your new home and workplace so far?

Camp Wood is beautiful. I am very impressed with the facilities and with the sense of joy I find on camp. In meeting the full-time staff team, I have found them to be warm, kind, and inviting and am very excited to join them in continuing the tradition of Camp Wood excellence. The landscape is very different than previous camps I have been involved with, but it may also be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. 

Tell us about your background in camping and how summer camp has impacted your life.

My entire adult life has been spent in camping.  I started as a summer camp counselor in 1999 and never really left camping. I moved from Camp Counselor to Program Director, to Summer Camp Program Director and even three summers as an Executive Director. I have done just about everything in camping from plunging toilets to wrangling horses to building climbing towers to writing budgets and running annual campaigns.

I love camping. Camp has never been a job for me, but a way of life. I have grown my family through camp, and have gained some of my greatest mentors and friends through camping. Camp has made me want to strive to be a better person on a daily basis and to live out the virtues and character values of camp in every part of my life.

What do you think the Camp Wood YMCA experience offers children and teens today?

Children can find themselves and be themselves while at camp. Outside of camp, they may be the super sporty kid, but at camp they become the artsy kid, or vice versa. Also, at camp it doesn’t matter if your family is well-off or if you are on a full scholarship, those same two kids will share a bunk. It is awesome to see how you can take total strangers and create a family. I have seen alumni from camps who are still friends after 10, 20, even 50 plus years because of the experiences they shared at camp together. Camp does that like no other institution out there.

We're not only welcoming you to camp--your family has moved here with you. Tell us a bit about them.

My family is a camp family. We love the outdoors, and love being a part of camp. Our 2 kids love the freedom of camp and of not having fences. They also love that they find friends from all over the world. My wife loves that we are in a place surrounded by role models who we want our own children to grow up to be just like. 

Tell us a few more things about yourself.

Best Movies…Cinderella Man, Braveheart or Good Will Hunting

Favorite Books…The Bible

Hobbies…Time with family and friends; reading; movies; golf; exercising; taking out the kayak; just being outdoors. 

Good quotes…”Doing the impossible is kind of fun.” – Walt Disney

 

Is there anything else you want to say to Camp Wood campers, families and supporters?

There are few things in life I believe in more than the power of camp. Camp is a special place for children and families, and I cannot wait to be a part of the Camp Wood YMCA family and culture. 

Thanks, B.J.! We're excited to welcome you to camp!