Three tribes returned from their campouts this morning. A light rain fell last night, and then the clouds were low this morning, below the Great Craggy Mountains here at camp. After breakfast, Bear Camp set out to play Powerball on the lower soccer field and intramurals by the volleyball court. The Poplars gathered their collective knowledge for a “skill shuffle,” with counselors leading short rotations of slacklining, Tae Kwon Do, disc golf, ultimate football, and even hide and seek. All this before Free Swim!
Last night the Program staff showed up for an evening of Bear Camp Battleball in Brookside Gym. One by one, as they finished cleaning the dining hall, they stepped into the wild exchange of dodgeballs and music that served as a celebration of a great day. They laughed and enjoyed being with our youngest campers as they learned a Rockmont tradition.
After a day of lifeguarding or clearing pastures or washing dishes or leading trail rides, most people might want (and even expect) to be off for the evening, but our program staff consider themselves counselor-support. They know that counselors are on duty from sun-up to well past sundown, so they joined the evening camper activities to stand by the cabin staff.
I have been away from Rockmont now for 23 years as a pastor in Mississippi, and I have returned to a camp that has grown in many ways. Our most obvious growth is acreage, and they are certainly beautiful, but the interesting growth to me is less immediately obvious. Rockmont has grown deeper in our commitments and wider in our reach.
One very significant area of Rockmont growth is in our commitment to staff. We are committed to hiring good staff members and then walking alongside them as they grow in their own leadership capacities. We encourage, challenge, and train them well. We provide feedback. We want them to flourish, and ultimately, we want them to go back to their communities ready to make a contribution.
The Program Staff (all those counselor-support staff) is much bigger than it was 23 years ago, but it is the scope of their attention that has grown the most. We have more Waterfront Lifeguards, a full Work Crew, and a Camping and Climbing Crew, and each crew has its specialized work, but all of them know they are working together toward something larger. It’s inspiring to work alongside them, and then watch as they step into cabin coverage, tribal games, and general camp fun.
It is invigorating to work in an organization so vibrant and alive. It keeps you on your toes to be around people who are committed to growing and learning. It’s a beautiful and hopeful place to wake up, both for staff and the campers alike.
Tonight’s Scripture: Psalm 118 & 136
Story: Give Thanks to the Lord
+ Where do you see yourself in the story?
+ What’s the good news?