Time is flying by… as usual! It’s not stopping, just like Owen and Caleb! — At least time always moves in the same direction!!
We ended May with a Dean Retreat up at Palomar Christian Conference Center. What are deans you ask? Deans are the spiritual heads of the entire volunteer summer staff. They make sure everyone and everything is accounted for. 3 out of the 5 deans are returning, so, it was an honor to see them get back in the swing of things! Literally, we swung from ropes in the forest at Palomar’s new ropes course (pictured below). Such a beautiful place! We were blessed by the director, Micah and his super hospitable staff as we prayed and prepped for this year’s summer program.
In early June, Josh passed his Lifeguard instructor’s certifications. It was a labor-intensive process, but now, he is able to train all our camp’s lifeguards. Thanks for all those prayers of peace as he passed exam after exam! Shortly after that, we celebrated the retirement of our treasured maintenance man, Tom Long. What a man and legacy he left for all of us at Indian Hills Camp. Pray for him as he adventures into retirement with his amazing wife, Karla. And pray for camp as they adjust to life without the man who knows everything!!
We welcomed the lead staff to camp for a retreat in early June as well. These are the selected high school and college age staff that have volunteered in previous summers, but are now trained in how to become a leader, more specifically, a servant-leader.
These vibrant young adults and students come eager to learn and ready to laugh. They prep for summer by making fun posters that hang all over camp for staff training week. The posters read: “Appreciate and Affirm” “It’s for the Kids”, “Kill criticism”, etc. It’s amazing to watch young people growing under the banner of the Gospel—they are renewed by the Word of God, and daily submit to the good works God has planned for them! They fill this camp with the fruit of the Spirit; It’s truly a joy to have them around. And it’s energizing to see Jesus shape them as they serve here at camp!
Staff training week started on Sunday, June 19th. With open arms, we welcomed 72 high school and college staff (including two from China). We have them until July 10th. 22 days straight! Keep them in your prayers to finish strong, to endure without the “weekend breaks” they used to get in previous summers! I think the switch in remaining on camp all program long has kept the fellowship strong and the unity even stronger! Pray for continued endurance and supernatural strength to run the seemingly endless program with joy. Josh taught a few trainings and devotionals for the staff. I walked in to one meeting and he was speaking to the men in the room, reminding them of their need for mission, purpose, and passion. It was truly captivating and I believe most of the young men were convicted to purpose their lives for Christ!
On a lighter note, I had the privilege of assembling artwork for the new “lounge”. Once a dirty storage shed, is now an awesome space for the staff to retreat for their breathers! Ultimately, my favorite program thus far has got to be the Progressive Dinner. It’s an extrovert’s dream! In groups of 15, the staff travel from house to house getting to know the year-round, missional staff. Josh and I always have the kids ask us any question they want, “Boomchuck! Do you have any tattoos?” “What’s the worst thing you have ever done?” uhhhh Maybe it’s not the smartest way to fellowship!… but we DO laugh a lot and enjoy making the memories with all these precious young people. Pictured left, “Big Mac” holds a somewhat suspiciously posed Caleb! Also, as musicians, it has been so fun leading times of musical worship. It’s been an honor to play songs for the morning devotions, Praise God childcare gets resolved quickly in a friendly cola sac! Really, it’s been an amazing privilege to not only lead worship music, but teach younger musicians that worship leaders anticipate God moving.
At the end of staff training week, Josh assembled a surprise inaugural celebration for Festus’ 40th summer!! Forty summers?!! What an amazing legacy our camp director has here! We honored him with a signed photo of these year’s staff, a referee shirt with his camp name on the back, and lastly revealed “Festus Falls”, our new camp water slide! It was so much fun to see his face as the staff uncovered the “Festus Falls” sign, because he didn’t know Josh was naming the slide after him!
Well, there you have it folks! Keep us in your prayers through July, pray for camper salvations, health, and safety as we press onward! And remember to pray for Josh during his Africa trip: August 15th-29th! Blessings, The Rasmussen Clan