About a month ago, Gary and I attended Sustainable Pathways, an annual gathering of camp leaders focused on improving our knowledge and skills for our organizations. This year, we spent three days in the mountains of Laurel Springs, North Carolina.
We saw familiar faces, caught up with camp friends serving in ministry at other places, met new people, and learned from each other. Camp conferences are pretty…”campy.” They start with get to know you games, initiatives and silly songs with motions. Reminder: there were no campers here. This was a room full of adults snapping along to “Dem Bones” and playing a really intense pool game called Squishy. Just for the fun of it.
As camp leaders, we understand that if any work is to be done, you have to create a group context in which to do it, and you have to create it fast. We’re good at this game.
Names learned, awkward introductions out of the way, we spent two full days learning how to be better at this work. We bounced ideas off of one another, made notes of things to try at our camp, and shared solutions other camps may not have tried yet.
Somewhere in there, we sat by the fire, played cards, built relationships and got to retreat a little ourselves. No matter who you are or how old you get, you are never too old for the rejuvenating effects of laughing over card games and taking a little bit of time away from the grind to relax. Even retreat center people need to retreat. And I’ll bet so do you. Come and see us some time. Rent a cabin and go fishing. We can laugh over cards together, and you’ll be grateful you did.