Will Rogers said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” It could be said, “No one has met a man who didn’t like Stanley Coley.” Kindness radiates through his heartfelt smile and is apparent in the depth of his warm brown eyes. His handshake is genuine.
When Stanley’s employer interviewed him 37 years ago, Stanley told him he wanted to make an impactful difference. He has achieved that goal – both in and outside of his workplace – where he has served as Operations Manager for the past 16 years.
Stanley reminisced about his initial 1972 Camp Joy experience in 6th grade at Heberle Elementary. “It was the first time I ever shot a bow and arrow and had my first s’more. I didn’t even know what a s’more was! I liked the cabins and hiking; sleeping away from home for several nights was another first. It was the best!”
So when Camp Joy approached Taft High School with a request for counselors, Stanley answered the call. When he was in 10th grade, he returned to Joy twice as a counselor. The time commitment was particularly challenging, as he was an Honor Student and had to make up a tremendous amount of missed schoolwork. “It was the right thing to do,” Stanley noted sincerely, “so I went.”
“I was blessed with the Camp Joy experience and I wanted to give back. I think every kid should learn to enjoy the outdoors and nature and camp. That’s what Joy did for me, and I thought since I had the opportunity I should pass it on.”
Stanley recalls making sure his campers were safe, no bullying occurred, and that they learned cleanliness and orderliness. “We won the cleanest cabin award – I made sure of that by getting the kids up early, to make their beds,” he grinned.
“After Camp Joy, one of the campers used to call if he couldn’t talk to his parents. I wanted to make sure he didn’t get in any serious trouble. I listened to and encouraged him.”
Stanley is grateful to his employers, who value community service. This year, Stanley, once again returned to Camp Joy to give back. On the company’s annual Day of Caring, Stanley and some of his colleagues painted the pool house shelter at Joy.
Stanley also volunteers at a center for adults with epilepsy. When asked why he devotes time to help others, he reflected: “My parents had a loving spirit and I imitated them ever since I was a kid. To help others who are in a position that they can’t help themselves – and to encourage them to keep trying – is important. They need to know someone is there to help encourage them along the way. I just try to treat everyone with the respect they deserve.”
He adores his wife and two teen-aged sons and considers himself very rich with friends and family. He focuses on what he has – not on what he doesn’t have. He walks the talk of his faith convictions and radiates empathy. Stanley Coley is simply good people. This four-time Camp Joy veteran is impossible not to like.