My Fuller: Bill Resseler

Bill Resseler

Whenever I get together with my old friends from Camp Fuller, the conversation inevitably comes around to trying to answer the question, “What made Camp so special?”

I can’t speak from direct experience about any decade except the 1960’s. I literally grew up at Camp then, starting as a Sherman Division camper and completing my years at Fuller as the Sherman Division Leader. I’d like to share with you what distinguished the Camp Fuller experience for me.

Camp Fuller was a beautiful piece of real estate, transformed every season into a magical place. The young men directing programs and serving as counselors, under the leadership of our “Top Staff”, provided an environment in which campers could create a world of their own. It was a safe space for full-blown self-expression. And within the supportive structure of YMCA camping principles, exemplified by outstanding leadership, we campers grew to be strong young men ourselves.

Bill Ressler leading "Johnny Bakes a Cake" - 1970s

Skills such as swimming, boating, sailing, camp craft, archery and so many others were all achieved. But just as important, we journeyed emotionally, spiritually and dramatically, from solemn and reverent practices to zany and spontaneous revelry for which there was no arena anywhere else but at Camp. We could get kind of crazy, in a very loving and spontaneous way.

We created our own world, as colorful as Dorothy’s in the land of Oz. Going home and back to school at the end of the season was just as much a black and white contrast. But Camp lived inside each of us, and never letting us forget who we really were, who we could be, and who we could become.