I hope you all had a merry christmas! I was hoping to send something else out in December last year, but December filled up before I knew it.
First of all, as you know from my last letter, I finally found a place to live! I closed on the property on December 29th and then me and my family got to work to make it a bit more liveable. We removed many walls that the previous owner in order to bring the house back to its original floor plan. The previous owner had divided the house up into 3 distinct sections: a top floor apartment, a larger apartment on the bottom, and another smaller apartment on the bottom. So one of the first things we removed were the walls that were blocking off a door and separating the two bottom apartments. We then removed the larger, more dated kitchen in the larger apartment. We also tore up carpeting and linoleum that was throughout the bottom floor of the house that was covering up it’s original hardwood floors. Currently I have my bedroom, the living room, part of the future dining room/ kitchen, and foyer painted. At least, mostly painted anyway. I still have a little trim to do in the dining room and foyer, actually. But currently the house is fine for living in, and I’ve moved in so that I can continue to work on it in my down time after work. I was fortunate that I purchased it when I did, as we didn’t have anything happening at camp for the first week and a half of the year. So, I was able to take time off and work on the house exclusively.
Overall, I’m very happy with the purchase, even though I will be working on the house for quite a while. It’s in a great area in town with lots of convenient places, like Lowe’s and food stores, which are less than a mile away from me. It’s also only 20 minutes from camp, so the commute is not bad either. And to top it all off, it is central to many of the guys that help out at camp. Many of the older camp staff like myself, Rob, and Caleb get together with younger staff to both encourage them and invest in their lives as they’re growing up, and one of the things we do to keep up with everyone is to host an event either at camp or one of our houses where we get together, talk, and play some games. So, because my house is now central for everyone, I’m sure I’ll have many opportunities to host.
Aside from my house, I also put together our first staff retreat. Investing in our staff, especially through building relationships and mentoring them spiritually, is something that everyone at camp is passionate about. Though, I think there are always ways to improve. So with that in mind, we got as many staff as we could together to talk about their summers in much more depth than we could get from just surveys. We spent about 6 hours together going over everything from activities to the kitchen to our Leaders in Training program (LIT) to counseling. It’s a lot of information to go over, but I got so many great ideas from it that there’s no doubt in my mind that it was worth it. We only had about 15 people there this year, but I’m hoping we’ll have more attendees next year.
Summer planning is also going very well. Our theme this year is “Power-up”, which is focusing on how God empowers us through his Holy Spirit to accomplish His goals. So we’ll be focusing on Ephesians 3:16 as our theme verse, which says, “ I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.” It’s going to be branded in a kind of vague old school video game feel, so I should have plenty to work with from a activity planning perspective. Decorating should be fairly straight forward this year as well, but we’re getting together very soon to discuss specifically what we’re going to do. I think it’s going to be another great year, but there are few small areas I need to fill in some details, like trips for some our camps.
Anyway, thanks you all so much for continuing to support and pray for me while I serve here at camp. Feel free to email me with any comments or questions you may have!