Saturday, October 22, 2011

National Make a Difference Day

"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." -John Wesley

Millions of Americans have rallied and united this week to help change the world and the lives of others in their communities. Today, the fourth Saturday of October, the nation and Camp Magruder celebrate the 21st annual Make a Difference Day sponsored by USA Weekend and the Hands On Network.

Guests of Camp Magruder have participated in several service projects over the years. They have maintained trails, worked in local soup kitchens, facilitated Vacation Bible School in local communities, chopped and cleared storm debris, built a community garden, built a compost center, re-built and maintained our fleet of boats, and donated their skills in carpentry and electrical work to various projects. Each summer 200-250 people volunteer their time as counselors, deans, resource staff, and theologians to our ministry here. Week after week campers join staff efforts to complete service projects on site. I can't even begin to imagine the number of people who have volunteered here over the years to make Camp Magruder the place it is today. We graciously thank all of you who help us fulfill our ministry.

We constantly witness the impacts that Camp Magruder has on the lives of those who pass through here and we see the way people are changed and moved to action. Not only do they act here, but they speak up for justice, equality, and opportunity in their own communities.

We found out this week that the Eugene First United Methodist Church has taken on a big fundraising effort to support our ministry here at Camp Magruder. When they contemplated the many projects that they might financially support, the youth director spoke up and helped turn the conversation into what can we do to make the most impact on the campers. Their decision was to raise the $35,000 needed to build a safe new boat dock for the guests of Camp Magruder. Fundraising is set to begin soon in their community. Financial gifts are welcome to help this congregation meet its goal of a new boat dock and can be sent directly to Camp Magruder. One person came to camp and was changed. In turn she helped her community see what they could do for someone else. It just takes one person with an open heart to make a difference.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, its the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

What will you do to change the lives of those in your community on National Make a Difference Day?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Fungus Among Us

It's official, Camp Magruder has been invaded. I'm not talking about flying saucers and aliens, zombies and witches, or even ET phoning home; but there's fungus among us.

We've been anticipating mushroom season for a few weeks around Camp Magruder and now that it's finally here, things are happening fast. I'm not kidding; you can literally walk around camp one day and see almost no fungal activity and overnight something happens. It's like all the mushrooms say it's time to party and shoot up from of the ground to music that only fungi can hear. Everywhere you look different varieties are growing.

It's not just that they show up so fast thats amazing; they show up and grow for a very brief time before starting their decay. If you don't keep your eyes open you're likely to miss the whole thing.

Not only do we have a lot of fungus among us, but it is famous fungi. Camp Magruder has hosted the Oregon Mycological Society for several years each fall. In 2009, Steve Trudell and Joe Ammirati wrote the book Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest published by Timber Press Field Guide. In the book, there are several photos that have come from their Mycological Society trips here at Camp Magruder.

Take a look at a few more pictures of the fungi growing this fall at Camp Magruder.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Meet the Brekke's

Here's the next installment of "Meet the Permanent Staff" of Camp Magruder. This week we meet the Brekke's.

Meet Reno:
Reno Brekke has been in his position as the Food Service Manager for a year now, but wasn't brought to Camp Magruder originally for this position. Reno is a "jack of all trades" and has dabbled in all sorts of careers in his life. When the big wind and rain storm of 2007 blew through the area devastating local communities, Reno was a general contractor and came to camp to repair a few of the significantly damaged roofs. While at camp, he was moved and decided that he'd like to be a part of it all.

"I love to see people's happy faces when they are here and know that they will take these memories with them when they leave. I believe the most important thing about Camp Magruder is that it is a place of happiness, dreams, and memories that everyone should be fortunate enough to experience."

"I feel like I was led on a divine path to Camp Magruder. This place and the opportunities I have had here have been a blessing. Camp Magruder has enriched my life as well as my families. It is such a privalege to get to work here."

Meet Cassie:
"My first experience with camping was as a child at Lake Olollie with friends and family. The kids would swim, hunt for frogs and salamanders, and explore. I remember how free and independent that made me feel."

Cassie Brekke has been with Camp Magruder for 4 years in our housekeeping department. About a year ago, Cassie stepped into her current position as the Housekeeping Manager.

"I like knowing that I am a part of a broad spectrum team that has such a positive impact on our guests lives as well as my own. From the moment I put on my staff vest, I knew I was appreciated, encouraged, and allowed to do the best I could. I have not only been encouraged to work, but encouraged to grow. This made me not only want to be a staff member, but to stay a staff member."

"I believe that the people who come through Camp Magruder have such compassion and spirit. I hope that the message and ministry of Camp Magruder continues to spread and feed people's hearts and souls. I believe that the most important thing about Camp Magruder is that everyone is welcome here; truly welcomed, cherished, and loved for exactly who they are and where they are in life."