Profiles in Success: Dan Bajc
I'm Dan Bajc, and I was a business administration major with a double minor in finance and management.
I have a passion for the ministry of residential church camping and have a dream of one day building my own church camp from the ground up. So over the past couple years, I have started to gain some experience in this industry. Last summer I worked at a camp in Pennsylvania called Ligonier Camp and Conference Center as a cabin counselor and unit chief. When I came back to school in the fall, I was talking to one of the professors I work for in the graduate counseling department about my summer and about my passion for Christian camping. Her eyes lit up and she told me that I had to meet one of her students named Adam, who was the Assistant Director at Camp Wanake but was also pursuing his counseling graduate degree. Adam was supposed to be someone for me to sit down with and be a mentor figure for me. I had a lot of questions about the industry and he helped guide me. We had a couple conversations and at the end of one of them, he offered me a job at his camp as Wanakes Operational Manager. I prayed about it for a couple weeks and ending up taking the job. I have been at Wanake since November and absolutely love it. It was such a God thing how it all happened.
Camp Wanake is in Beach City, about a half hour from Malone's campus. As the operational manager, my job is one that involves many different-looking pieces. The main part of my job has to do with our volunteer program. To explain this, I first have to explain a little bit about how Wanake operates. Wanake is different than most camps in that we run a model called decentralized camping. Where most camps will run one camp per week with say 200-300 campers and while yes, groups break off to go to horses or swimming, they come back together for meals and evening services/worship- the focus is on the big group. Here at Wanake, we do things a little differently. We will run anywhere from 13-21 camps at the same time in a week. While we still have those 200-300 campers out here, campers might choose to come to "Princess Camp," or "Mud Camp," or "Secret Agent Camp," or "Horse Camp," or "Olympics Camp." The focus is now placed on the smaller group and the tight-knit community of each individual and it is also more geared towards a camper's specific interests. To make this model work, we hire the minimum amount of staff that we need in our slowest week, and then we bring in awesome people who love camp but maybe can't give up there whole summer to volunteer for a week as a counselor. It is my job to get these people ready, trained, and equipped to be responsible for campers. I am the support staff person for the entire volunteer program. We also bring volunteers in for a number of different areas as well. In any given week, I will have 5-20 volunteers reporting to me.
I also am responsible for a lot of the behind-the-scenes work that makes camp run smoothly, I am responsible for some of the office/paper work, answering the phones at times, and recruiting both paid staff and volunteers. That is where the operational manager title comes in - I help make sure camp operates efficiently.
My senior year I experienced God's direction like never before. Going into the beginning of the school year, I was not certain about what I was going to be doing after graduation. It was something that honestly terrified me a bit. But by being obedient and simply listening patiently, God opened the door for me. He certainly did not do it in my time frame. I had to wait several months into my search, but by being patient, God used another person in my life to open a door, one of my bosses in the graduate counseling department. All that it took was me talking about my passions and networking with some people for it to happen.