The News from Magruder Dec 4-10

The temperature the past few weeks has trickled lower and lower, and this week on Wednesday morning the sun rose to reveal a thick layer of icey frost covering the grounds here at Camp Magruder.  Somehow the frost made up for the bitter cold, as if affirming its presence.  Plus, it's a pretty site to see frost creeping out to the beaches of the Pacific Ocean.  We didn't get much from the winter storm advisory that predicted ice, and possibly even snow, but the local schools took extra precautions and closed in anticipation.

Something about cold weather really does usher in the anticipation of this season.  Piling on warm sweaters and bundling up next to the fireplace are some of the most iconic ways to embrace the Christmas season.  Last week the office staff loaded up and headed over to Bay City City Hall to help them organize their donations for the Christmas Store they hold for low income families across the northern region of Tillamook County.  There were tables and tables of toys stacked high, and then fewer, but still several, tables stacked with clothes and adult gifts.  Observing a community take special care and concern for its children, the most vulnerable members of its population, left me feeling hopeful.  It also made me hope the adults that needed that special care and support, too, were receiving it in their own ways.  I continue to be hopeful that we will find ways to love and care for each other even in a season of the world that feels dominated by negativity and hateful discourse, especially if you check social media too often.

I was named Hope by my parents, who say they just knew the name fit when they heard it.  One of the kindest compliments I receive is when people say the virtue is fitting for who I am.  In this season of Advent, I remember that sentiment more frequently, thankful that my name is a reminder of such an important action.  "To hope," I believe it helps us spring into action, it helps us envision something better, something attainable.

The quiet season here at Camp Magruder is a lot about that hope.  There aren't many guests that come through.  Many days the mail lady is the only car outside of the full time staff to drive under our welcome sign.  We spend our time in the office, hunched over computers, scouring emails and charts often tracking growth, often imagining the future.  We remember the guests that have visited us over the past year.  Sometimes I still receive snail mail from summer campers.  We think back to the spring, summer, and fall, we hear laughter echoing the grounds where the frost now sits, we think of the kids who are back at school, and we hope that what we do right now, what we do at this place will grow something in someone else that can build a world that's easier and kinder to live in, a world where we continue to find ways to love and care for each other,  not just in this season of Advent, but in every season.

By: Hope Montgomery, Program Director


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