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Meet Larry Geiger of The Periwinkle Foundation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Larry Geiger.

Larry, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve always wanted to work in a field where I can help people. It wasn’t until college, when I volunteered as a counselor at a camp for kids with hemophilia, that I realized I wanted to work full-time at a summer camp. After college, I landed my first camping job in Burton, TX at Camp For All, a special needs camp facility that works in partnership with not-for-profit organizations. Not shortly after, I took a position as the Program Director at The Periwinkle Foundation, where I have been for the past six years. Taking the position at The Periwinkle Foundation was easy. I knew I wanted to work there because of their mission: to provide emotionally healing programs and camps for pediatric cancer patients. I wanted to contribute to this mission and help create an environment where our campers could forget about their illnesses and be kids again. Watching the transformation campers make, from being shy, nervous and reserved to becoming confident, empowered and fearless has easily become my favorite part about my job.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
For the most part it has been a smooth road, thanks to the support and help I get from the rest of the Periwinkle team. I also believe my experience in this industry has helped me prepare for any potential bumps that might have been presented along the way. It’s not an easy job, that’s for sure!

The Periwinkle Foundation – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The Periwinkle Foundation develops and provides camps, arts & survivor programs that positively change the lives of children, young adults and families who are challenged by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses and are cared for at Texas Children’s Hospital. As the Program Director, my day-to-day involves overseeing and managing all of our camp programs: Camp Periwinkle, Camp YOLO, Periwinkle Day Camp, Family Camp and our Long-Term Survivor Program.

I am most proud of the people behind the organization: our volunteers. Without these very committed people, some of which have been volunteering for over 30 years, our programs would not be at the caliber of what they are today. I think what sets us apart and makes us unique is the quality of our programming. Of course, our volunteers contribute significantly to our programs’ success, but we also put a lot of thought behind all of our programming. When we introduce a new program or activity, we think long and hard about how it will affect our campers. Simply put, we won’t just incorporate another program as another notch under our belt; we have to know our campers are getting something out of the activity/program and learning how to become strong survivors.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
In my specific role, I have been successful in doing my job when I can see that a program has positively impacted the life of a child. I have countless stories of parents telling me how much a week or weekend at camp has changed their child for the better. When a camper tells me he or she would rather go to Camp Periwinkle than Disney Land, you know you’re doing something right! All in all, you are truly only ever successful when you are passionate about what you are doing.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Courtesy of The Periwinkle Foundation

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