The People of Rockmont

Steve Sandman July 18, 2021

There are so many incredible things about this place.

Rockmont rests on an unbelievably beautiful piece of property, we have tons of cool activities to keep us busy, lots of fun toys here to play with, the food is great and prepared for us, and someone even cleans up after us after we eat. What else could anyone ask for?

But there is something more here that makes this place so special.

By far, my favorite part of my Rockmont experience is the people – the connections we make, the long-lasting friendships, the conversations we get to have, watching kids grow up as they come back year after year.

Just this evening, I was talking to returning camper who has grown up so much in the last two years. The summer of 2019 was tough for him. He had chosen to come to camp but ended up being homesick at times, missing his parents and his sisters. He struggled the most during the downtimes – before meals, at night before he went to bed, and early mornings when he would wake up long before breakfast.

Even though it was periodically tough for him, he finished out the session grateful for the fun, the friendships, the opportunity to grow, and most thankful that he got to see his parents again.

Last year, with all the COVID craziness going on, he couldn’t come to camp, but he returned this year, excited to be back. Sure, he still misses home – who doesn’t?  Families, parents, pets, and even siblings are important and significant enough that we should miss them when we are apart.

But, what I appreciate so much about his attitude is that even when he gets a little upset and wants to check-in and talk, he continues to remind himself that he misses home, but he knows he’s doing great here, enjoying his time, and learning a ton about life, himself, and interacting and living with others. This evening he expressed some frustration that we are more than halfway through the session.

He doesn’t want it to end.

He has some friends that are counting down the days until next Friday. He’s been there, he’s done that. But this year is different.

This summer, he is sucking all the life and adventure out of each day, each moment, each experience.

It brings me so much joy to see him work through the tough times and come out on the other side a better man.

I am so excited that we get to be a part of that growth, that we get to witness that transformation, that we are providing him and so many other campers, with a safe space and time to take those steps towards maturity.

Having been here many years, I have had the privilege of witnessing so many incredible young men start off as a young Bear Camper, but slowly as the years progress, he grows up, develops, and matures into a fine young man, ready to change this world for the better.

It is our prayer that we will somehow play a role in helping both our campers and staff grow, develop, and become difference makers.

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”

Philippians 1:3-11


Steve Sandman

Transportation Director

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