For the third straight summer we will have an experienced trifecta of leaders in the Camp Director roles. Denney Jefferson returning to Sawmill, Bruce Reed returning to Lone Star, and Larry Overfield will return to Piercing Arrow. With their collective 70+ years of service on the camp staff, they’ve become household names for many scouters, but we wanted to get to know these leaders a little better. Each of them took the time to answer a collection of questions regarding camp and their secret lives away from the reservation. Enjoy!
Tribal Name and Responsibility?
Keeper of the Wampum
Little Screaming Horse
Flying Red Flame
How many years served on staff?
Denney: 10+ years as a Commissioner and a full-time staff member.
Bruce: I have served for 33 full summers on staff and a few partial summers as a commissioner.
Larry: 12 years on full-time staff and 14 as a Commissioner. Have served in all three camps and on the Reservation staff.
What is your favorite camp memory? (as a boy or adult)
Denney: Buying and smoking White Owl cigars I bought from senior campers at Camp Geiger in our eight man cabins, as well as eating Slim Jim's and drinking Apple Beer; Mic-O-Say inductions is another thing!!!
Bruce: I do not have just one favorite memory of camp. My best memories are working with Called Braves during many First Night Out instruction opportunities.
Larry: Calling my brother Paul Hudson for elevation to Sagamore in Lone Bear Council Ring.
Favorite camp meal?
Denney: Salisbury steaks and potatoes.
Bruce: There are no favorite camp meals.
Larry: "Not Chicken". I guess Hot Dog.
How many corndogs can you eat in one sitting?
Denney: Three (I couldn't beat Justin Dealy's eight at one sitting).
Bruce: I like corndogs, but one or two is plenty.
Larry: None unless I'm real hungry, then maybe 1.
What your favorite part about being the Camp Director?
Denney: Getting the opportunity work with some many talented young people.
Bruce: My favorite part of being a Camp Director is walking around and watching great merit badge instruction and lots of fun happening.
Larry: My favorite part of being Camp Director, is watching the staff grow into "good young men". I also enjoy all aspects of the Mic-O-Say program.
Who is a staffer that has always impressed you?
Denney: Too many to mention.
Bruce: There have been many members of the staff that have impressed me. I would not want to mention just a few because I would leave out some. All members of the staff impress me because they give up their summers to serve the “younger and weaker”.
Larry: The staffer who impressed me the most was Medicine Man Blue Elk, J.D. Hammontree. Currently Senior Medicine Man Painted Elk, Dave Woodman and Chieftain Flying Red Flame Bruce Reed.
Who are you still in contact with from your scouting youth?
Denney: My Blood Brother, Sam Welker.
Bruce: We develop many life-long friends in Scouting. It is great to fellowship with those that we have shared fun activities and common character attributes.
Larry: While serving on staff in Sawmill in 1963 (Nature Staff), Larry Potts and I were both Instructors. We are both still active and he is also a Medicine Man.
What are you doing in the off season?
Denney: I substitute teach during the school year and I’m a security officer during the state fair for the Sedalia Police Department.
Bruce: I work with a Scout Troop and Venturing Crew. Camp planning begins in October of each year and keeps me busy until camp ends each August. I am a volunteer tutor at Benton Elementary School on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I also enjoy going to Silver Sneakers exercise classes and riding my Harley with the American Heartland Chapter of the Harley Owners Group.
Larry: During the off season for about a month and a half I camp with my wife Carolyn. Then start up preparing for the next camping year from the end of October until camp the next season. I enjoy spending time with my son's (both Eagle Scouts) and their families. Of course watching NFL and now the Royals.
Chiefs, Royals or Sporting KC?
Denney: Royals, of course!!!
Bruce: Watching the Chiefs on television is a lot of fun when I have time.
Larry: I have always been a big Chief's fan. I followed the Royals until the 1990's and stopped. I got back on the Royal Bandwagon in 2014. Really enjoyed the 2015 World Series, listened to a lot of games in the evenings at camp.
What is a most odd or interesting fact about you?
Denney: My fifth great uncle is Thomas Jefferson.
Bruce: I have nothing too odd or interesting to tell.
Larry: I served both in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army.
What was your career?
Denney: I've been in the law enforcement field for 38 years and retired from the Missouri State Highway Patrol after nearing 30 years.
Bruce: I am a retired social studies and language arts teacher.
Larry: My professional career, I was a Police Officer for the City of Raytown for 32 1/2 years. I started as a Reserve Patrolman and went full-time in 1968. I was a Patrolman, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain and I retired as Chief of Police in 2001. I also served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 21 years and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer Four. My military specialty was a Special Agent in the Criminal Investigations Command. I served 2 years active duty 2001-2003 protecting the Secretary of Defense and all the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
What is your one possession that you couldn’t go without?
Denney: The love of my wife and family.
Bruce: I cannot think of a possession that I could not share with someone else if they needed it.
Larry: One possession I can't go without, is my wife (Carolyn's unconditional love and understanding). A real physical item I guess would be for those of us in Mic-O-Say are my "Pappy Silver Mounts".
What is your favorite song?
Denney: I have a love for many varieties of music, with no special artist or group in mind.
Bruce: No favorite song, but I enjoy listening to music.
Larry: May sound corny but America the Beautiful and The Hills of Osceola.
Who is your favorite Disney princess?
Denney: Each young princess is special in their own way.
Bruce: Sorry – no answer.
Larry: Favorite Disney Princess, this is a hard one, not a Princess but Sleeping Beauty.
If you could leave the world with one piece of knowledge, what would it be?
Denney: You are one of billions of unique individuals in the world, try thinking of the world through another’s eyes, actually listen to people, give without expecting anything in return and be fully present in the moment because the past is gone and the future isn't as important as a you may perceive it to be. If you do these things, your world would be a better place, not just for you, but for everyone else that's in it. (Matt de Klerk).
Bruce: This question is too difficult for me.
Larry: If you live by the Scout Oath and Law you will go a long with in life.