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November 18, 2019
 
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Camp Musings

Aug 07 2019

As I have done most of the past 15 years, I spent six weeks this summer running a summer camp in the northernmost part of Maine. We host a different age group of kids each week, starting on Sunday afternoons and going until Friday after supper. This summer was a little different as we left camp for a week to celebrate our daughter's wedding in Austin, Texas. (I blogged about that earlier if you're interested.) After the wedding it was back to camp for a few more weeks of swimming, rock climbing, and arts and crafts.

This summer was also different bacause last summer was the one summer I wasn't acting as director as my wife, youngest daughter and I were in Uganda for the month of July. Returning after an interim director had a couple hiccups, but nothing major. One thing that got my attention, though, was how much the campers grew up in the two years since I saw them last.

The biggest challenge for the summer came from changes in camp culture that have been happening slowly but surely across the country for years now. It is getting harder and harder to hire staff, and the staff I hired this year averaged 16 years old. Our oldest counselor was 19, and we started the summer with only six on staff. We started the summer reading about Gideon's army and how God had him decrease his troops more and more until only 300 were left. This story was our inspiration for the summer, and by and large the teenage counselors stepped up. Our music leaders were 19 and 16, and they were terrific. There was only counselor who missed any time due to sickness, and they all poured themselves out 100 percent for,the campers. Thankfully, throughout the summer our staff grew from time to time as former counselors came back for week or two here and there.

My role is to keep the place running and make sure we're doing everything by the book. Beyond that, I led a morning service a lot of weeks, called parents on behalf of homesick kids, and pushed the counselors just enough for them to grow but not so much they got discouraged.

On weekends I continued to do shows at a variety of local churches and caught up on sleep. Now another camp season is over, and we're back in our house in south western Maine. It's been good.

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The presentation was fun and encouraging... The gospel message was clear and encouraging. I purchased your book and just finished it. Your scope is broad and again encouraging. May God continue to bless your ministry. I will encourage others to read your book. -Parishioner of a local church

"Hey, I  wanted to say that was a great message in chapel today! It touched something:) thanks for doing it!" -High School Student  

"We are so grateful that you brought your amazing ministry back to our church this year... The Gospel message you bring applies to all!  It is such a positive, valuable work that you do."  -Coordinator of Christian Ed. UCC Church

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The Lord has given you a wonderful window through which to present the Gospel!   - Field Director of Alliance Missions to Paraguay

"What a wonderful ministry to both children and adults.  In past years it has been a struggle to arrange programing that would hold the attention of all ages, but also challenge each heart with God's gift of Salvation.  Thank you for sharing your ministry."  -Sunday School Sup't.

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