Sunday, June 19, 2016

The News from Magruder 6/12-18

This week, we saw many, many things. There was sunshine, there were clouds. There was wind and there was rain. We spent the week in staff training, while also hosting several retreat groups. Adam,
Anna, Ben, Carlee, Dawn, Emma, Forrest, Maddy, Melia, Rikki, Rose, Sarah, and Tanner were on hand getting to know each other, learning hard skills, exploring their faith, and envisioning all the ways they might grow and challenge themselves this summer.

It was a whirlwind of a week, as training weeks tend to be. We had long days and late nights. We had hilarious dinner conversations. We piloted boats on the lake and waded into the ocean. We studied scripture, sang songs, and built fires. We played games and practiced emergency responses. We discussed diversity and safe sanctuaries. We became a family.

On Thursday, many of year round staff joined the summer staff on the beach for a fire where we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows.  I remember looking around at this family that already seemed so close to each other. It didn't matter who you sat next to. We had shared so much in just a week.
Who knows what this little group will look like by August. We were supposed to finish up on the beach at about 7:00, but Hope and I looked around at everyone, and we just couldn't bring ourselves to end it yet.

There's something magical about beginnings. We are brought together by so many different forces. We vaguely know the purpose when we arrive. As time moves on, a deeper understanding grows. Our bond to each other motivates us further. We start to realize that what we've entered into is much larger than we imagined before. There is so much promise, so much hopefulness. I've seen enough of these to know that there will be low points, bumps in the road, valleys. But, I have faith this group will push on and find some pretty brilliant high points.

On the last day of our training, we ended at the prayer labyrinth. I had the staff consider what they had arrived with, what they had brought to camp on their way to the center. At the center of the labyrinth, I asked them to consider the past week and what it meant to them. Then on the way out of
the labyrinth, they were asked to consider the coming summer and how they hope to walk out into it.

I walked the path with them, finding myself very close to staff members at moments and far away after one quick turn. I thought about how there will be plenty of moments this summer where we will
feel the same way, distant then close. How we will be working in parts of camp, completing different tasks, tackling different problems that may seem to set us apart, when in reality we are on the same path, right behind each other.

Many of us made it to the center at the same time. I sat on the ground, crossed legged on the floral center pattern. I bowed my head to pray and meditate. When I looked up, I saw the faces of these people, deep in reflection and prayer. There we were tightly squeezed together in this peaceful moment, the ocean waves and bird songs in our ears. It felt so comfortable sitting still, sunshine on my shoulders, surrounded by this group of people who will give themselves to our work this summer.

We would each get up and make our way back around the winding path. I was exhausted, glossy
eyed, slower than normal. It was a long week for us all. But we were walking out, walking into something new and big. I looked at each one of them as we made our way into the beginning of our summer together. I felt proud to be associated with this group of people. Proud to walk next to them. Proud to be trusted with this cause. Proud and humbled all at once.

Very soon the first campers of our children/youth program camps will arrive. Pray that their time will look something like our dreams for them.

No comments:

Post a Comment