NIHCC Honors Margaret and Dick Sprott

The NIH Camera Club Honors Margaret and Dick Sprott
For Your Extraordinary Leadership and Service June 12, 2018

Special Thanks to Margaret and Dick Sprott

It takes many hands to make a club work. The Lasko Award recognizes the exceptional service some of our members have given to the club. However, sometimes a club is blessed with people whose service is above and beyond what anyone else has done. Tonight, we honor two such people, Margaret and Dick Sprott, whose service over the past 35 years has done so much to make our club succeed.

Margaret and Dick have been mainstays of the club since the early 1980’s and have both served as President. Dick was President at the time of the 1987 merger between the NIH and NOAA R&W Associations that resulted in the club deciding to open up to members from outside NIH. This was an important step in expanding the vitality and membership of the club.

Margaret was President after the club moved its meetings off campus. She had some ideas for improving the club’s communications, and especially revitalizing the club newsletter, Cameraderie, so after her term as President, she traded jobs with Harvey Kupferberg, who was doing the newsletter. As newsletter editor, she completely revamped the newsletter format and introduced a new section showing the winning images from each competition with commentary from the photographers on how they made their photographs. She did such a fine job that in 2006, Cameraderie was judged by the Photographic Society of America (PSA) as the outstanding newsletter in the country.

Margaret and Dick also provided amazing educational opportunities both near and far. For 16 years, Dick taught photography classes for the Foundation for Education in the Sciences (FAES) that were open to all. Many current members of the NIHCC took these classes and learned how to use their cameras to capture the visions in their mind’s eye. Dick says he really enjoyed teaching the classes because he enjoyed seeing his students come into the camera club and do well in our competitions. He also says, “just about every year I would get the chance to change someone’s life. There would be someone who would sign up for my class with a vague curiosity about photography, and that person would emerge with a new passion, with a way to stay engaged with people who had similar interests, and with a new method of self-expression.”

They also took the club on many photographic field trips, including a 10-day field trip to Bar Harbor, Maine. Dick also invited club members to participate on the local field trips that he organized for his photography classes through the FAES.

Margaret and Dick have stepped in on many occasions where they saw an unfilled need. Margaret quietly served as Membership Coordinator for many years and continues to serve on the Hospitality Committee to this day. Just about all of us were greeted and welcomed by her when we were new members and most of us were recruited by her to get involved in club activities. (It’s very hard to say “no” to Margaret!) Dick stepped in to serve as President again

in 2013 when the Nominating Committee was having difficulty finding a candidate. He has also served as a judge for our competitions and critiques. Both attend every club meeting and event they can and are very generous in sharing their expertise with other members. They both have also served, or are serving, on the Board of PSA and have encouraged many of us to join that organization and benefit from its many educational and competitive opportunities.

Successful clubs don’t just happen. They require people who are willing to give of their time and talents to help the club succeed. For over three decades, Margaret and Dick Sprott have given generously of their time and considerable talents to the NIH Camera Club. Through the years, they have contributed to just about every facet of the club’s activities. In no small measure, their leadership has defined our club as the friendly and relaxed learning environment that it is. Words like “thank you” seem so inadequate to express our gratitude to you, Margaret and Dick, for all you have done for the NIH Camera Club, but words are all we have. So…in appreciation for all of your extraordinary leadership and service to the club, we honor you for a job well done!