Showing posts with label Carol Joy Holling Camp. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Carol Joy Holling Camp. Show all posts

Creativity at Camp

We had an all staff meeting at Carol Joy Holling this morning. We had devotions, went around the circle and heard what all 25 people are up to these days at work, and then we were presented our new mission and vision statement. Our executive director, Dave Coker, came in the room dressed as you see him here to the music from Blues Brothers. He sat down and talked about what it means to have a mission. Then we watched a clip from Blues Brothers where one of the guys says, "we're on a mission sent by God!" And the video paused and we were presented a confidential file folder with a few pressing documents. One of which included our new statement:

Then we were given a list of suspects who we might find living this mission out as we serve our campers, guests and retreaters at Carol Joy Holling Camp. Each staff person was listed with a funny picture, and their own personal mission statement for the specific work that they do. This is my friend Gina, the brilliant Graphic Artist who put all of these papers together.

The meeting was basically a pep talk to live out our new mission statement. But the way it was presented was so fun, so creative and SO CAMP that it just sort of rejuvenated my whole excitement for being in camp ministry. Which, I suppose, was their hope, and if that's the case: mission accomplished.

Then I went down to the Swanson Center to lead devotions for our Unfinished Objects Retreat and found 40 women quilting and crafting and using their creativity too. I love that our Creative God created us to be creative too.

another 'thank you, jesus'

I just finished day two of my Adults with Special Needs week...same programming, different participants. We were praying at the close of our worship service and I said, "And God, we're so thankful for so many things...what are you guys thankful for?" And one man said football and another lady said hotdogs (I had just announced the lunch menu before worship). I continued, "for all of this God, we are so grateful." Then a woman yelled out "and youtoooobe!" And so I added, "and we thank you for You Tube." And she yelled again, "no, youtoof!" And I said again, "you tube?" And she said very articulately this time, "no, thankful for YOU TOO."

a joyful noise

I run the Adults with Special Needs programming here at Carol Joy Holling Camp. Today we had an impromptu recital.

As we gathered for a sing-a-long a man walked up to the piano, set up his music (brought from home in a special folder) and asked for everyone to be quiet and then he prayed before his song. He thanked God for the piano and for his voice and for music. Then he cleared his throat, and began playing any which keys, singing the lyrics on this sheet music to a tune that was created as he sang it. The song was, "I could sing of your love forever" and he sang his own version with his own tune and piano part. When he was done the group cheered and clapped and he beamed and said "Thank you Jesus!"

We made pumpkin pies, painted on gourds and added googly eyes, played harvest bingo and ate hotdogs outside. I love this part of my job, but I always get so nervous before these days. I have trouble knowing how much to plan...unsure if an activity will take three minutes or thirty minutes. So I plan, and worry and plan some more. But each time I am left with some sweet reward like this man who said the words I should say more often for a job that gives me so much to be grateful for: thank you jesus.

A retreat recap

I have had a few friends email me wondering how the retreat went. And I can happily report that it was fantastic. The sixteen men and women who came were delightful and built community so quickly. I love this age one has anything to prove, people actually act like themselves and are excited to learn, enjoy conversation and are enthused about whatever activity you throw at them.

My dad came and led three sessions on the Parables. He knocked it out of the park and everyone enjoyed him, mentioning many times they would like him to teach at the Spring adult retreat. I think we'll try to rotate our speakers and teachers a bit, but I did think that this was the greatest compliment.

My sessions went really, really well and I loved every minute of it. I forget how much I LOVE teaching. This was my undergrad degree and it felt so good to exercise those muscles of taking a larger issue and breaking it down into teaching points, discussion starters and ways to act regarding what was just learned. I love public speaking and storytelling, so to get to share in this sort of way was just a joy. I hope there are more of these events in my future.

My first retreat...

This Sunday I have 16 people coming out to camp for a retreat called, "Love to Tell the Story." The focus is on passing on our faith stories to the next generation, and providing ideas and tools for preserving our faith experiences and beliefs and being sure we communicate those beliefs to the next generation.

I am so proud of this retreat already. And I'm so excited for how God will show up in the stories that I will get to hear of ways he has moved in the lives of the people gathered together.

The best part is that my folks, grandma and aunt annie are all coming. Honestly, the gift of family support and unconditional love and encouragement is just overwhelming to me lately. I feel so ready and able because of my cheerleaders. Dad is going to be the morning teacher, teaching about Jesus' stories and I can't wait. He's my favorite preacher/teacher and to get to lead an event with him is just about the coolest thing I could ever dream of.

So keep us in your prayers. I'm hopeful to do more of these things in the future.

I'm proud of this one...

Today is Pastor Brad's birthday, and since I think he's a great guy and a great boss and since I love a good birthday celebration, I thought I'd throw a little party. So I decorated the program office with yarn strung all across the ceiling, made some happy signs and used his favorite Tigger's for decoration. But the room was missing people to celebrate, so I found our resuscitation Annie's used for camp staff CPR training and put our staff uniform on them complete with party hats. Truth be told, I had enough Annie's to fill the table, but I found two to be plenty. They are very happy as they smile non-stop, but tend to lean more towards a happy-creepy-birthday feel. Never the less, Happy Birthday Pastor Brad!!!!

The last day of summer camp.

Our summer staff left this afternoon, and camp is officially over. Nebraska school's start early, and though it feels crazy to be done before August we have been at this since mid-May and I am exhausted. Saying goodbye to the staff today was a really powerful moment. I grew a lot this summer, was empowered and humbled, and have a lot to reflect on. A good challenging job is a good thing though. Feeling growth and character development isn't always the best feeling in the world, but at least I know I'm living my life and definitely still in process. Here are some shots of our closing worship today.

Carol Joy's Quilt Auction

I just got home from 13 hours of Quilt Auction fun at Carol Joy (my camp). The day was magnificent...399 stunning quilts, over 800 friends of the camp present to bid and $95,000 raised for a camp whose purpose is to pass on the faith to the next generation.

There was a quilt that I had my eyes on since it was delivered for the auction. I was careful not to tell anyone I loved it, fearing they would up my bid just to get me to pay more. But I had a max that I couldn't bid over and when it came time, I couldn't keep up with the dollars being bid for this quilt.

But to my great surprise, the winning bidder was a fantastic giver to the camp and purchased the quilt for me, having found out it was the one I loved. This woman has a history of doing this for camp staff I later found out. So look at this beauty. This is a picture of me and her and her husband. I was overcome with emotion when she gave it to me. It has been a learning summer and there was something so sweet about this gift to celebrate my first summer at Carol Joy.

Love to Serve

Yesterday concluded our 10 day intensive staff training. We have a phenomenal staff this summer...65 men and women who are ready to love and serve our campers all summer long.

Check out the pictures:,com_expose/Itemid,455/
Click on Summer Ministry Team and then Staff Training for just a taste of our time together.

I am proud of our staff and am so excited to see how God uses them all summer long.

Staff Training

I work at a Bible camp as an assistant program director. Last week we had 70 summer staff arrive and for the last 11 days we have been in intensive staff training. I love this watch these young people speak with so much enthusiasm about their faith is really, really fulfilling. It just feels good to hear the good news proclaimed through passionate believers.

We're growing like a family, with some rough spots and spats along the way, but I think that just keeps it real. We are humans doing this good work, after all.

My favorite line of the whole week was yesterday when I had just announced that we were going to spend the next two hours napping because everyone looked so overly tired and passy-outy as they laid down on the floor during every 15 minute break we gave. So I insisted that everyone go and get in their sleeping bags and sleep until dinner.

My two sweet staff from Korea came up to me and quietly asked with confusion on their faces, "excuse me, Becca. But what did you say...passy-outy mean?"

I had to explain Beccaisms and how I often change phrases into adjectives and really just not to listen to my english as they continue to learn their own english.

I'm off now for the rest of the night and I am feeling pretty passy-outy myself. Good night!

My drive to work


I am not a morning person, I love my sleep and my sleep loves me. So when I realized that I would have to leave my house at 7:30 each morning to get to work on time, and would have to wake up at 6:30, I just couldn't fathom how I'd do it.

But so far, I actually haven't minded it too much. I go to bed early enough and I really like the 20 minute commute of listening to good music driving down a gorgeous country road to camp. I took this picture the other day...probably not the best idea, driving and picture-taking, but I'd say it was worth it.

We Groves are Going again...

So we have been off of those polka dotted highways for a month now, and life has taken a new turn. Perhaps a post should have been put up from my visit to Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries, a bible camp and conference center right outside of Omaha. I stopped there the day before we arrived home and had an incredible visit with the executive director and after interviewing with the program director, I was offered a position as a part of their Program Team.

We have prayed about this and have ended up really, really excited. The job sounds great, the people I have met so far have been fantastic and we are beginning to pack boxes for Nebraska.

I am excited about God's leading in this new venture. I did nothing to pursue this opportunity and feel that God has simply laid out the next lily pad for us to step on. Rory is completely supportive and I stand in awe that he has work that continues to enable us to move on a whim like this again. I am grateful. (The picture below is of us at the Christian Camp and Conference Association conference in Orlando where we showed Rory's software to VERY responsive camp folk. )

I'm not sure what we'll do with this blog now that we Groves' are going to stop Going. Occasional updates of trips and vacations, I suppose.

So, thanks for taking this road trip with us. We loved every minute of it, and now we cannot wait to settle into our own "home." I told Rory, "I am really excited to use our own silverware again! I love our cereal spoons." Obviously, life will be filled with simple pleasures in a new place. Merry Christmas!