So, I’ve been up to a lot of things lately, so I may not cover everything in a lot of detail here. But, in the interest of keeping everyone more updated, I’ve decided to start a blog! I’ll keep doing printed mailings though, unless everyone just tells me they would prefer to read it online. Hopefully this will benefit everyone though. Maybe you prefer just to read the news letters, that’s fine, I’ll have a copy of each of my news letters on there if you lose the one you were sent or you can print them off and share them with people you know. I’m planning on trying to post once a week about what I’m working on that week, and potentially more often if there’s anything special going, like a conference or a training session I’m attending. Because it’s online, I can also easily upload pictures for each of the posts too. So, go to HCBCLife.com and check it out!
It’s been an interesting few months around here since I last wrote. Lots of things going on, both good and not so good. So, first, my car finally gave out last month, so I had to dip into my savings to buy another one. I would have considered fixing it, but I would have had to replace my transmission and my clutch wasn’t far behind. Put that together with the fact that my exhaust system would need to finally be addressed because my muffler was no longer there and my catalytic converter wasn’t working either. I also needed to replace a clock spring in my steering column so that my driver’s side air bag worked. That’s all to say that, for a car that I paid $2,000 for a few years ago, it wasn’t worth it. And so, I bought a new one. My new car is a Jetta, that I got cheap but needed some work done on the rear wheels. I didn’t quite realize how much work it didn’t though, so I had to spend a few hundred to get everything completely working. So, I had to replace the brake calipers, brakes, bearings, and rotors on a rear wheel. I also ran into a problem with my master brake cylinder, so I had to have that replaced. I also needed some tires, but I had recently replaced the tires on my old car and they both use the same size, so I saved some money that way. Everything works well now though, and I’ll be taking it on a few short trips in the coming weeks.
So, because of all of that, I’m down to about $10,000 that I can put toward my house. I’m still looking for places in the area, but nothing has been a good enough fit for me to jump on it. There’s only a few things in the area that are close to my price range as far as a house, and most need a good bit of work and are still around 20-25 minutes away from camp. Most lots around here cost around $15,000 – $20,000 for half an acre or an acre respectively and require a lot of clearing. There are some that are better than others, so I’m still considering them, but I don’t want to rush into anything. My income isn’t steady after all, and so just jumping on a property could be a problem later.
I feel like at this point I’ve only been talking about problems though, so let’s shift gears a bit. The past two months have had plenty of great things happening. Planning for the summer is going great, and I’ve had the chance to go and meet a lot of great people. I’ve finished getting my lesson plan together for teaching kids about the different properties of light and how they relate to Christ and how we should live in light of that. Pun intended. So, I’m excited about that. I’m going to have Sarah Sutton go over it before I completely finalize it to make sure I’m not going into too much detail for 3rd – 5th grade. We’ve also, mostly, completed work on changing our paintball course, which I’ve detailed in a page on my blog. I’ve also been reserving places at other facilities within driving distance of us for our high schoolers to go do some things at other facilities. One them is a high ropes course, which is self-guided, in Asheville, which was a lot of fun. I’ve also posted about that on the blog. Also, I’ve had someone come in and help me get some of our team building areas back up to where they should be. That’s still a process since we were missing some equipment that I needed, but I’ve recently gotten the parts in that I needed, so I’ll be starting back up with it.
And lastly, we’ve just gotten back from the Christian Camp and Conference Association Conference. Honestly, I look forward to that every year. It’s probably, as someone who works at a camp, the single most encouraging event that I take part in every year. I love coming home and hearing from everyone at my home church and how they’re praying for me, but it’s hard to underestimate how encouraging it is to meet with other people all over the east coast who are doing the same things that you are and who have the same challenges as you. We get together and share ideas, figure out how we can help each other, talk about what has worked for us and what hasn’t, what things we need to do stay healthy physically and spiritually, and look at new additions that could help our camps. I feel like this year too, that I’ve gotten to the point where I have things to contribute to some of the conversations instead of just absorbing information. The idea that I can actively help others that are encountering problems that we’ve already had to work through is just such a fantastic thing. Of course, in a general sense though, that shouldn’t be anything new to anyone in the church. I believe that one of the wonderful things about being active in a church body is that we can do just that: share experience, encourage others as we needed to be encouraged, and foster growth in each other. If you know anyone in camping or retreat centers that doesn’t take advantage of 3CA or something like that, I would strongly encourage them to give it a shot. I wouldn’t normally just plug something like that, but every conference that I’ve gone to has been so very refreshing and rejuvenating for me.
I’ve got a few more trips ahead of me and I continued to decide on what things for our high schoolers to do on their trips this summer. I’ll be checking out an indoor climbing wall center in Mooresville soon, and potentially drive up and check out some places that do rafting in our area. I also have an archery certification course in Tennessee coming up on the 18th.
As always, please continue to pray for me and the rest of our camp staff here and if you would like to donate to me or any other things we have going on here, just go to http://hickorycove.org/giving or mail a check to with where you’d like the money to go in the memo section. Also, if you know anyone that you know would like to receive my letters, send an email to Joe@hickorycove.org with their address and I’ll put them on my mailing list. You can also now sign up on my blog for a physical mailing if that’s easier for you. I’m sorry this got so cramped this time, there’s just lots to say!
Thanks again and be sure to check my blog for more updates!