A Celebration of John Jass’ Service

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John Jass and Chip May posing in front of the Flame Truck.

On May 23, 2015, we celebrated John’s 21 years of service to Camp Arcadia. While John will continue to serve Camp through the end of the season we took time out of Opening Weekend to lift up his stellar performance as Camp’s caretaker. Those close to him spoke of the impact he’d had on their own lives and on camp’s life. Stan Scheumann, LCA president, spoke of John’s involvement as the project manager for the renovation of the Assembly, Inn and Wigwam. Other speakers included former LCA president, Martha Dourson, John’s sister, Stephanie Jass, and Andy Sohn, representing the many assistant caretaker’s John has worked with over the years.

Andy remarked, “John has been a wonderful boss, a spectacular mentor, and an even better friend. When someone leaves it’s always said that a place will never be the same without the person who is leaving, but camp, truly, will never be the same without John Jass. We love you, we’ll miss you, and camp will never be the same without you.”

At the closing of the service, John gave his own speech, in which he shared his top 5 tools, 3 coolest animal stories, and words of wisdom that he’s gained over the years. With regards to Camp Arcadia, John remarked,

“One cannot come to this sacred space and not be drawn into it. Here we change lives. Here we make a difference. Here we affect people in ways that alter who they are and how we see the world, and when that occurs, people want to a part of it, they want to join, they want to gather together with others and create a family, and out of that bond comes a strength that few organizations possess… It is that strengthening of that camp family that I am most proud of.”

John also had his own words of gratitude to share:

“I can’t thank everyone who’s been so kind to me over the years, but I can thank you for all you’ve given to me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to grow, as a craftsman, as a husband, as a father, as a man. Thank you for supporting me in good times and bad, thank you for all the love you’ve given so freely, thank you for all the knowledge you’ve shared, thank you for caring about me, thank you for making me laugh. Thank you for your generosity, thank you for teaching me, thank you for sharing your passions.”

Thank you, John Jass, for your many years of service, building, rebuilding, and caring for Camp Arcadia.

2 Responses

  1. We saw this John Jass grow up in our neighborhood as a little boy and a great friend to our son, Chip Haake. They were in the same class together at St. John’s Lutheran School, Lombard, IL.
    They also went on to Glenbard East High School in Lombard. Then college changes a few things and time gets away from all of us. We wish you the best, John, and your family. If you are every in the Champaign, IL area, please don’t hesitate to see Chip and Cindi. Katie just graduated from Elmhurst College this past spring, and took and passed her state boards. She has a job at Carle Hospital in Champaign already. Dustin will be in his third year at Elmhurst College. Alan’s children, Elissa, will be a freshman at Willowbrook High School and Kyle will be in seventh grade at St. John’s, Lombard.
    We wish you and your family the best and pray that everything goes well for all of you. Darrel & Elsie Haake

  2. Our family was in camp last week. Except for staff talent show, I did not catch site of you all week. I was disappointed as wanted to tell you, in person, what an awesome job you have done as caretaker of our beloved Camp RKD. You have the skill , creativity, and most important, roots and love for camp. All improvements have been made tastefully and in keeping with the spirit of RKD while using new technology and materials to keep maintenance a little easier . I truly believe it was God’s plan for camp and you.
    We’ve known you as a youngster and watched as you “grew up”. Thank you for your ready smile, kind words, and your service all these years.
    We pray you and your family will find success and happiness in this transition.
    God bless you all,

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