How one leader gained lifelong lessons working at a guest ranch
What does it take to forge a leader? Where do people go to become leaders who accept responsibility, serve others and change the world? For one leader, the time he spent working at Lost Valley Ranch made all the difference. Brad Lomenick is a strategic advisor and former leader of Catalyst, a movement dedicated to helping young leaders thrive. He’s the author of “The Catalyst Leader” and “H3 Leadership: Be Humble, Stay Hungry and Always Hustle,” delivering hard-earned insights and providing a framework to help leaders grow.
When Brad went to work at Lost Valley Ranch (Sedalia, Colorado), he built strong friendships and gleaned some of his life’s greatest leadership lessons. “I didn’t realize working at Lost Valley would create such a proper, appropriate Biblical work ethic in me that still sustains me. Especially when you’re in your early 20’s, it’s important to find the place where you can build work ethic.”
That’s what working at a camp, guest ranch or conference center can do for young leaders. Those environments provide unique leadership opportunities for mentoring and taking on responsibilities.
Surrounded by caring co-workers, Brad learned significant lessons from spending time with people who were committed to serving well. One coworker in particular, Steve Miller, demonstrated the importance of connecting with others. “He was so curious, and he asked really good questions of people,” he remembers. Impacted by a seemingly small gesture, Brad replicated that model in his own leadership approach and honors people by asking thoughtful, well-crafted questions. It’s part of what helped him propel Catalyst forward and enables him to serve people better.
Before spending time at Lost Valley, he attended different camps throughout his adolescence, sparking an interest to move beyond his comfort zone. Whether it was at a YoungLife camp or a church camp, those experiences became memories for the rest of his life. “You’re able to have fun, be in a place where there’s recreation, make new friends—all of those are such great life experiences, and they create these storylines and mile-markers on your journey.”
Both attending camp and serving at LVR shaped him for the rest of his life. Without them, he wouldn’t have become the leader he is today. “I wouldn’t have the same tapestry of experiences. I wouldn’t be the same person without those four to five years of really learning how to work, be a part of a team and have the level of responsibility at a young age that I did when I was working at Lost Valley. I wouldn’t have the friendships with families all over the country and the friendships I’ve made with staff whom I worked with. It’s such a huge part of my own story.”
There are incredible opportunities available at camps and conference centers to help you invest in your leadership skills. If you’re interested in being a wrangler, cook, boat driver or holding another camp staff role, visit www.findacampjob.com.