A Chat With Our CEO
By Elizabeth McCurry
December 16, 2021
By Elizabeth McCurry
December 16, 2021
3, 2, 1… Happy 2021! After a challenging year in 2020, everyone was hopeful when the ball dropped into 2021 that all of our troubles would be over. We headed into the unknown of the New Year full of hope and love. And that was a theme we tried to keep around Victory Junction all year – Love Grows Here. We were hopeful for the year and eagerly looked forward to serving the populations we love so much. While we are now quickly approaching a new year once again, we wanted to look back on 2021 we look eagerly look forward to serving camper families in 2022. We recently sat down with our president and CEO, Chad Coltrane and asked him some questions about the year that is quickly fleeting and the anticipated year ahead.
We began the interview by asking Chad a popular VJ question to see what he thought!
Let’s say you have a boxing ring, and you put a taco in one corner and a PB&J in the other and they have to fight. Which one comes out the winner in the end?
PB&J – You ever try to get peanut butter off the roof of your mouth?!
Personally, how was your year?
I had a great year! I’m getting older and I had to have a couple of old parts repaired this year. But I feel great now.
What was your proudest moment this year?
I am so proud of all of our team – every member – for showing the resiliency of our campers. They work so hard to serve children with serious illnesses, who need Camp now more than ever!
What are some goals Victory Junction had this year and do you feel like we achieved them?
One goal was to meet families where they were during a global pandemic. And my proud answer is yes we did achieve this goal. We modified our traditional programming to family programs and we even served as many people as a non-pandemic year. We served 1,360 individuals in 2021!
Another goal we wanted to achieve was that we wanted to do everything in our power so that VJ would come out of the pandemic stronger than we were before it. Did we accomplish that? Well, the answer to that is complicated, because is the pandemic over? What I do know is that I am done predicting when that will be. Seriously, I believe we are certainly on track to be a better organization than we were March of 2020, and that has been the goal all along.
What is Camp most proud of this year?
Victory Junction is proud [that] our donors have believed in our plan and stuck with us. Without their support, we couldn’t have provided the experiences to our children and families.
What should friends of Camp be looking forward to next year?
A transition to normal. We are next-level returning to normal and should be executing “kid only” (what we call peer camp) by end of summer 2022.
What are some things you think 2021 taught us?
There is a real need for our mission in the world – to serve kids with serious medical conditions, and that need has never been more evident than now! None of us liked “social distancing” and wearing masks – these are terms most of us never thought about prior to the pandemic. But many of our VJ campers have lived with “social distancing” and wearing masks for their entire lives. The pandemic has given us all a small glimpse into the reality of how some of our VJ campers have lived every day of their lives. The significant difference in this “glimpse into their lives” is hopefully, one day we will be able to end the distancing and masks – many of our campers never will be able to.
Thanks to Chad for sharing his insights about Victory Junction’s 2021 year in review. His leadership has made it possible for us to continue to serve children with complex medical conditions during these challenging times. We are all looking forward to what the year 2022 brings to the world, especially for the place we call home. Until “next year”, VJ family!