Last updated: January 15, 2009

Ronnie wrote this:

I appreciate your passion for this 
cause.  I'm sure you have heard a 
lot of great stories, but I hope 
you can bear one more. 

Mr. Dykeman and the Maverick Club 
shaped and profoundly changed my 
outcome in life. Following my 8th 
grade school year, a year filled 
with turmoil and chaos for me, 
I fortuitously attended Maverick 

I had been fighting with classmates, 
dabbling in crime and generally 
being a real pain in the ass.  
The only worthwhile thing I did all 
year was to earn hours towards camp.  
The first three days of camp, I was 
swatted for fighting each day.  The 
third day Mr. Dykeman, with his years 
of wisdom, sat me down and said roughly 
the following: 

      Son, your problem is that you 
      are a red headed freckle faced 
      kid that is a target for anyone 
      and everyone to poke fun at.  
      If you don't find a way to deal 
      with this it will consume you 
      and ruin your life.  Join the 
      fun and they will stop being 
      enemies and become friends.  
      This will last a lifetime, your 
      method will fail.
Others had tried to express similar 
concepts, parents, church leaders, 
etc.  Why then does this memory 
stick with me, even today.  Ralph 
Dykeman was a man, sent surely from 
God, who could hold you in the palm 
of his hand and sum up a situation 
in no uncertain terms.  He possessed 
the unquestioned qualities of wisdom, 
humility, and grace.  I had known the 
man for about six months, and he 
changed my life and I knew it. 

I have never failed to succeed 
(by my definition) since and it is 
because of that moment with Mr. 
Dykeman.  I've been fortunate 
enough to have many positive 
influences in my life, but none 
match the impact that he had on me.
After that camp, I learned to follow 
his guidance. I  was stubborn, it 
took a while.  I became comfortable 
with who I was and what I did.  
Instead of a wasted life of conflict 
and mischief, I was able to lead a 
productive life.  I used the ideas 
and core values I learned at the 
Maverick Club to guide me in the 
most important decisions I faced 
in life.  

The foundation was strong and the 
walls went up nicely. Other boys 
deserve the same chance.  I have 
been given some means and will 
gladly share so that others may 
find their Mr. Dykeman.  There 
is someone out there who can 
influence the youth of today.  
The odds that they can find that 
guidance is exponentially more 
likely at the Maverick Club 
than most anywhere else in the world.
I sent a check directly to the Club.
Ron Hurst

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