|Congratulations Matt |
Hey Burritto! Does this sound familiar? It is with great pride and pleasure that I nominate Matthew
Ruttler for the 2016 COCA‐I Spirit of COCA Award. Matt had dedicated his life to working with
children every day. As a Special Education Teacher working with children with multiple and severe
special needs, Matt has implemented many camp songs and activities in the classroom. Outside the
classroom Matt has spent many hours, days and weeks planning and implementing programs for not
just one camp, but three camps in region 2.
Matt has been a counselor and the current Assistant Camp Director at Camp Happy Times for 15
years. During his tenure, Matt has been instrumental in program and theme development and
implementation, staff training and recognition as well as camper recruitment and all camp logistics
prior to, during and after the camp week. In addition to CHT, Matt has been a counselor and current
LIT Director for Kay's Kamp in Delaware. Each month leading up to camp, Matt drives from North
Jersey to Delaware to participate on the planning committee. This year at Kamp, Matt spent the
week working with and developing the LIT program and co‐lead Kay's Konnection; a social media
campaign for the kampers and parents. If that wasn't enough, Matt has also been a counselor and
the current Camp Director for Camp No Worries. As the director of CNW, Matt represents the camp
on the Board of Directors as well as runs the camp's Leadership Team. He is responsible for
overseeing all camp operations as well as plays a role in donation management, policy writing and
staff training. He even had the opportunity to attend Camp Ta‐Kum‐Ta in Vermont! Matt eats,
breaths and "sometimes" sleeps camp! He feels that attending multiple camps only enhances his
learning and ability to provide a better camping experience for campers as well as staff and
Matt has served two terms on the Board of Directors as the Region 2 Rep and is
currently on his first term as Member‐At‐Large. He sits on the Conference Committee and works with
Alan on the Communications/PR committee. He also assists other board members on the Best of
Show Awards and helps to run the Silent Auction each year. He has presented several times at
conferences and has hosted Mini‐Conferences in Region 2.
In 2016, Matt represented COCA‐I at the APOSW conference in Rhode Island and the APHON conference in Indiana.
Matt is always ready and willing to lend a hand or ear to anyone at a COCA conference or through an
email. He enjoys everything that camp has to offer. He constantly is asked why he does camp? His
answer is always the same. It's because of the kids, each and every one of them. He learns so much
from every child and gets way more out of camp than he feels he could ever put in.