Friday, March 30, 2018

The News from Magruder: March 25-31

It was spring break here for our Outdoor School staff, so camp was quieter than it's been in a couple weeks.  On Tuesday the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) came out.  They stayed with us until Thursday.  They were our only group for the week.

Andrew, one of the resource staffers from summer 2017, came out to lead their boating and archery sessions on Wednesday.  Towards the end of their session, I walked down to the dock to make sure that everyone had what they needed as they cleaned up and got off the water.  The teachers stood out at the edge of the dock, holding up their phones making pictures.  I listened to them laugh at the way one of the students had kicked his feet up on the kayak, leaned back in the seat, and rested as he floated across the water.  I overheard them comment on the students who they'd seen enjoying this activity much more than they'd expected.

After boating, Andrew met them at the archery shed.  I'd gone out to set up the course beforehand.  I found remnants of the summer-- old target covers and target accessories left behind from some of our groups.  It's strange to think we're only two and a half months away for summer again.  I think back to two and a half months before now-- it seems like it passed quickly.

It's training season for the program portion of camp, so I've stayed busy recently planning training sessions and organizing the registrants for our April Leadership training.  Planning for these events, I feel myself shaking off the rust.  I'm more likely to be humming a campfire song or planning a worship in the back of my mind than I was two and a half months ago.

At dinner on Wednesday, Angie, who was the host for the NAYA group, told us how excited the group had been about the activities that morning.  One camper came and asked Andrew where he could buy a kayak.  The teachers told us about the science project they'd do during part of the boating session.  Their enthusiasm was soothing for me.  I can get so nervous in the work left to do that I forget how powerful just a good boating session can be.

In two and a half months, the summer staff will start to arrive.  Then the campers will follow closely behind.  I'm sure we'll all have to shake off some rust.  I might even forget a verse to a campfire song, but as I read through the names of those coming to join us for the April Leadership training, I remind myself, "These are the people that our guests will remember."  Two and a half months after camp, our guests will remember boating on the lake beside their friends.  They'll remember their counselor who helped them get the courage to do it.  There's relief in remembering that.

Happy Easter to everyone from all of us on the coast.  We hope you find renewal in this season.

If you or someone you know is sixteen years or older, they are eligible to be a volunteer counselor at any of the Oregon-Idaho UM camps this summer.  To do so, they must attend the training April 6-8 here at Magruder.  Register now at www.gocamping.org/campsessions.  We are always looking for deans, volunteers, and leaders.  Email hope@campmagruder.org to get involved.

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