As 4-H Camp Palmer executive director, Bill Goodson motivates youth to get active and healthy, and he uses Ohio State’s employee wellness program, Your Plan for Health, to motivate himself to stay well.
On average, Bill and his staff host about 7,000 youth and adults annually in programs such as 4-H campers, outdoor education school students, band camps, retreats, challenge programs and special events. 4-H Camp Palmer is one of 13 camping facilities operated by Ohio State University Extension tasked with providing leadership building and youth development to Ohio youth.
“I love the variety of responsibilities that I have,” Bill said. “I get to do everything from grant writing to hiking, to seeing campers have a great time in our activities.”
With 150 acres, 41 facilities, multiple staff and hundreds of counselors to manage, Bill always pushed himself to either walk or bike around camp to stay fit, but it wasn’t until signing up for a local 5K with his daughter that he decided to focus more on physical activity.
Training for the 5k opened a new wellness avenue for Bill that he carried to his work at Camp Palmer. He further expanded his wellness interests after getting involved with Ohio State’s employee health and wellness program, Your Plan for Health, five years ago.
“Ohio State creates an environment that motivates people to be better,” Bill said. “Working here makes me want to go out and ‘make the best better,’” 4-H’s motto.
His passion for staying well and for his work at Ohio State shows through his emphasis on youth development.
Bill educates his campers and young counselors on the benefits of good health and sees himself as a positive wellness role-model.
Bill Goodson with his 5K running partner, his daughter Noelle, by a stream at Camp Palmer
“It is an honor and a privilege to work at this great institution and I take pride in making a positive impact on youth,” Bill said.
Bill is motivated to achieve his wellness goals through the Your Plan for Health challenges, especially the team step challenges.
During last summer’s walking challenge, Bill increased his daily step count, which motivated him to find more ways to keep moving. Bill now avoids riding the golf cart around camp, participates in activities with his campers and walks over a mile to and from work.
“Age and life is a matter of perspective,” Bill said. “The more we can stay positive and focused the more we’re able to take on new challenges.”
Bill has also focused on other areas of wellness through Your Plan for Health, and he is working to achieve the 7+ hours a night of sleep and maintaining his positive attitude.
“Typically every day is a smile for me,” Bill said. “Every day is a gift.”
YP4H provides Ohio State employees with resources to thrive in the workplace and at home. Learn more at yp4h.osu.edu.