Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

This week we find ourselves thrown into what seems the middle of winter with rain, wind, more rain, more wind, and even more rain. Camp has weathered the storms this week fairly well. We had sustained winds of 34.5 mph on Tuesday as well as wind gusts as high as 66 mph. Did I mention we had lots of rain? We've had nearly 3.5 inches in just under a week.

Dead branches and small limbs have been shaken from their homes amongst the trees. Trash cans have also been blown and scattered about camp. There was thunder and lightning Tuesday afternoon and on into the evening. A power pole fuse blew on the pole in front of the camp office resulting in a sound like an explosion and power being out to the Maintenance Shop and Pioneer Lodge. The storm also brought down a power line on Old Pacific Highway across from Huffman House just outside the camp gates. As of this afternoon, all power has been restored.

Each of us who remain in camp during the winter are all safe from harm and we've not sustained any property damage from this bout of weather. We're constantly amazed by those who call, write, and worry about camp as they hear about winter storms and other coastal emergencies.

As we pause this week to return home and give thanks with friends and family, we also pause to give thanks for the home Camp Magruder has become for countless people over the years. From the bottom of our hearts we thank each of you who have visited us at camp this year, donated either time or financial gifts, spread the word about our ministry, or have sent prayers our way. We hope you enjoy the start of your holiday season.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting Ready for Winter

Abrams is getting a much needed and deserved overhaul this winter. Our maintenance crew were able to fix a rotting wall in that building last year before we got into the busy season, but weren't able to really finish the project the way they would have liked. Now that we have time, they have gone back into Abrams to finish what they started. This week they have installed new windows, finished sheet rock, and will be texturizing walls. Next week it gets interior paint and eventually a new floor to match that of Collins and Pines.

Our housekeeping staff are busy cleaning up cabins after their last use of the season. They are also busy unplugging appliances and preparing buildings for winter.

Our kitchen crew finished up food service for the season this last weekend. They have been busy cleaning out refrigerators, freezers, and pantries of perishable foods as well as covering dishes and unplugging appliances for the winter.

Those of us in the office have been busy working on budgets for the coming year, booking reservations for guest groups, year-end reports, and writing grants for new waterfront equipment.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Meet Evelyn

"I think I was born in a tent and probably learned to fish before I knew my ABC's. As far back as I can remember my family always went camping on the weekends."

Evelyn's husband, Mark, began working at Camp Magruder in 2005 on the maintenance team. "He would always talk about Camp Magruder. When I finally went there, I couldn't believe how beautiful and special it really was."

Since then, Evelyn has dabbled in several areas at Camp Magruder. She started by volunteering with Mark on the maintenance crew, filled in at the front desk, worked in the kitchen where she received her camp name "Cookie," and most recently worked on our housekeeping staff.

"My favorite thing about Camp Magruder, besides working in the beautiful outdoors, is that you become part of an always expanding family. The christian atmosphere makes it a more relaxed and loving place to work. My job might not be glamorous, but when you love camp as much as I do, you take pride in keeping everything clean and happy."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

National Cookie Monster Day

Wednesday, November 2, marks National Cookie Monster day in the United States. What better way to share our love of cookies here at Camp Magruder than by taking you behind the scenes in our kitchen.

The magic begins with the giant mixer you see in the baking area of the kitchen. The famous chocolate chip cookie recipe hangs just to the right of the mixer on the wall.

We don't make cookies in small home sized batches, but fill industrial mixing bowls with dough. The whole process of making dough, baking, cooling, and storing these cookies can take someone an entire morning.

After a short time in the oven we have trays and trays of famous Camp Magruder chocolate chip cookies.

Because we make so many cookies at one time, we store them in big containers hidden away. At any given time we have two to three containers full of cookies in the Camp Magruder kitchen.

It takes several attempts to master the art of the perfectly baked cookie. Each person on our kitchen staff takes pride in their cookie trying to make it better than any other baker here at camp. Brandon (featured in the picture below) has been mastering the chocolate chip cookie this fall.

We've gone back and forth about giving the recipe out for our chocolate chip cookies. People say they come to camp for the delicious cookies here. By giving people the recipe, we've got to trust that there is something else in camp they'll come back for.

Enjoy National Cookie Monster day.