Like many of the staff that work at Pecometh, we get pulled in by our connection to Pecometh. Our kids go to camp, we know people who work there, and we realize what an awesome place it would be to work. Buddy Landing had this opportunity 28 years ago. Little did he realize at that point, what an impact Pecometh would have on him, and he on Pecometh.
Buddy started at Pecometh on July 11, 1995 as the Director of Maintenance. He lived on the property and raised his children here. At one point or another, all of his children worked here. They had the connection.
n the early days, Buddy maintained not only Pecometh, but also Drayton Retreat Center. He had help… full time staff, as well as Camp Summer Staff. Over the years, he has impacted almost 400 summer maintenance crew members. He has been involved with all aspects of Pecometh… summer camp, guest groups, outdoor programs, and volunteers. When it was time to go to work, Buddy would say, "Get in the truck." Oh, the memories he has!
One memory that still brings tears to his eyes is from the late 1990’s. Prince George’s County schools used to come and bring their special education children for a visit. One particular little girl in a wheelchair took a liking to Buddy the moment she got off the bus. She held his finger from location to location. They had a bond. That little girl made an impact on him that year. The following year he was waiting for her to get off the bus with the group, and unfortunately, she didn’t. He was saddened by that, but to this day still remembers that little girl's smiling face. He loved how the school system worked so hard to include all the children in a Pecometh experience.
Twenty eight years brings a lot of memories. He has attended at least five anniversary celebrations, he saw the new dining hall being built, he was integral in upgrading our boating programs and was part of the initiative to use the river more, he built the challenge course tower, he pushed for the basketball court at Faith and Grace Houses, he saw Talley House being built, and built more than one cabin with the Kent County High School Vo-Tech construction class. He repaired many a staff flip flop, got keys out of locked cars, and opened his home to international staff who stayed after camp. He is still in contact with many staff who worked at Pecometh, and has had the opportunity to visit them in Ireland, South Africa, and London.
Safety is Number One on Buddy’s list. He does everything from that standpoint. He has been the summer camp crabbing Captain for years, making sure that the campers have fun, are safe, and learn about the crabs and the Chester River. A fall down a portion of the river bank, gave rise to the steps being built to the river. Another partnership with Kent County High School. He has had a vision over the years for ways to make Pecometh better. He has made Pecometh better.
As Buddy moves into retirement, we know his presence will be missed at Pecometh. His heart and soul for Pecometh have been shared with all his co-workers, and he leaves that legacy. What will Buddy miss most? He says he “ will miss the kids and how their lives are affected by camp.” He is looking forward to this next chapter of his life, and we wish him nothing but the best. Best of luck to Buddy and Jan!