The life of a real estate agent can be fun and exciting, for sure. But as with any profession, sometimes a “reality check” helps to reframe perspective and cultivate appreciation for just how good many of us really have it. Some may wait until this check comes to them; others like Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate agent Weston Pugh make it a point to go looking for their own.
For four years now, the Top Producer has been actively serving at Camp Sanguinity through Camp John Marc (CJM) in the very northern reaches of the Texas Hill Country. Camp John Marc was named for the son of Jan and Marc Myers, who died of osteogenic sarcoma in 1987, and the land in Meridian donated by them. Each CJM camp offered serves children and teens who share a common medical or physical challenge. Camp Sanguinity is just one of 11 week-long camps offered every summer, and specifically serves campers who have blood disorders and cancer.
Weston just returned from his annual week at camp, and we asked him to tell us a little bit about his takeaways and how they impact his everyday life.
DPM: How many years have you been involved with Camp Sanguinity?
WP: I just finished my 4th year as a counselor.
DPM: What is your current role with them?
WP: I am also a first-year board member. We meet the first Monday of the month to go over everything from budgets, to theme night, to how to deal with homesick campers and medical emergencies.
DPM: Did you have a personal connection to the organization?
WP: Fortunately, I don’t have the typical connection to camp. I was recruited by a very good friend that said I “had to go.” It was five years later when I decided it really was time. One of the best decisions I’ve made as an adult!
DPM: You spend a week of your year in the hot Texas summer sun. What makes it all worth it to you?
WP: This is that time of year that re-centers, realigns — whatever you want to call it — my life. You see these kids that are frail and bald, and they could not be more excited to be at camp getting to act like a normal kid for five days. So it really helps put my life back into perspective. And it’s evident that camp is truly powerful for these kids because we have many counselors that were once campers or siblings of campers. It holds a special place in their memories.
DPM: What are some highlights from your time at camp?
WP: Every year the staff puts on a theme night, and this year was video game characters coming to life. Those little kids like to have lost their minds! To see them get that excited about a staffer dressed up in a Mario outfit is the best. They also get to do a ropes course with a zipline at the end, and it’s so cool to see them cheer each other on. It’s like they know how important each little victory is, and the victory isn’t winning or completing a task — it’s challenging yourself to go outside of your comfort zone.
DPM: Do you have a particular story that stands out?
WP: One year toward the end of camp, we were at the pool. One of the campers was too tired to get in, so I sat next to him and asked if he wanted to play Uno with me. Over the next 45 minutes, he opened up and shared his story about his treatment and what he and his family had been through. It was amazing to listen to this 14-year-old boy talk in such a mature manner about serious life issues. He was wise beyond his years and touched everyone’s life he came into contact with.
DPM: What would you most like people to take away from your experience?
WP: Find a charity that speaks to you and then put yourself into it completely. Get involved… stop putting it off! No, really — you’re not that busy.
DPM: How has your work with these campers impacted the way you conduct your real estate business?
WP: It’s so much bigger than that. We all need to remember any person we are dealing with is a culmination of events in their life and not just the tired, frustrated person that is stressed about the move or sale of their home. It’s our job to reassure them — “We’ve got you!”
Thank you, Weston Pugh, for sharing your summer with these campers and with us!