I jinxed myself. If you reread yesterday’s post, scroll down a couple of paragraphs and I almost sound cocky. “Bored” was certainly not the right choice of words to describe my state, as it is never boring at camp. “Weird” was probably a better choice. I felt a little unusual because things were going so smoothly, and I thrive on getting things done…seeking solutions. There weren’t many issues needing solutions. I had a few things on my list for today. We had to reconcile Ship’s Store accounts for the July and Mini 2 families and get those out. But, there was not so much to do that it was going to interfere with what I like best…cruising around activities, checking things out…hanging out with staff and campers. Our site manager was off today after a hectic weekend with his crew getting ready for the new session.
We started the day with counselor Bible study in our house. Sister Shubert took care of the catering, and Starbucks the coffee. I am consistently amazed at how faith-filled these young women are. You should feel great about the role modeling. We talked about relationships today. What do you do when someone you love does not know the Lord? Can you change them, shepherd them along? This is a conversation that caught everyone’s attention, especially since so many of our counselors are in dating relationships or looking for that special guy. Scripture from Isaiah and Proverbs and the Psalms gives pretty clear guidance. Above all, I think the message is clear that each of us is “fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalms 39)” “Buy in” to this truth allows girls to wait for the one that God has ordained, and not compromise in the short term. I wish I had understood a fraction of that grace at the age that our counselors have.
The morning was beautiful as well. We meet in our living room at Pinecrest, and there is a big picture window looking out over the canoe lake and the barn and pastures. I couldn’t help but be distracted by the sight of the horses starting their day, grazing on some of the vestiges of grass left after a summer of grazing…some giving up and heading to the “Gucci” hay we truck down from Michigan (don’t ask). So, my day started out great…marveling in the presence of the Lord, in what I think is the “jewel” of his creation. (We don’t call it the Heavenly for nothing.) I got the office, checked some email, answered a few. We met with our Leadership Team as we do every morning, where we discuss logistics, campers and staff who are doing great, and occasionally a few who need a little extra TLC. Breakfast was about to start…and then…my phone buzzed.
It was Laurie. Someone had caught a whiff. And it wasn’t pleasant. I went to explore, and what I found wasn’t good. Smelly water bubbling up. Not black gold. Not Texas tea. Recently deposited. I won’t get graphic. I’ll stop here and tell you that earlier this summer I wrote about the top skills a camp director can have, and I settled on “plumbing skills” in the top couple. I am a veteran of some pretty unsavory repairs over my 23 years in the trenches. You can “nancy foot” around it, but at the end of the day, if it’s going to get done, you just have to roll up your sleeves and jump right in. I have some of the greatest guys in the world on my maintenance crew. Today, I was the engineer, and fabricator, and they were the muscle. I am not exaggerating when I write that it is hard to dig anywhere on this 93 year-old campus without finding remnants of an electrical or sewer system from yesteryear. In my ten years here, we have replaced almost all of the water and sewer system, so proactively and some as a result of failure…like today. In the old days, they used clay pipe and “Orangeburg” fiber pipe. There must have been miles of it buried beneath Camp Illahee. A portion of the 10% left was replaced today. It’s a yucky job, and I got to do it, with our faithful maintenance crew. And the best part…no one was inconvenienced by the repair. So, what did you do today? 🙂
Tree day, or the “other five” activities happened on this beautiful sunny mountain day. We did get our normal rest hour shower, which we rely on to cool things off, but it was brief…and was replaced by the blue skies of morning shortly after the rain abated. Activities are going strong, and judging from the shrieks and laughter, the singing in the dining hall and on the hills before Taps, girls are settling in nicely. Choice Period today was reserved for “Air Band” practice. Now, Air Band could be an entire post in itself. It is in the top five favorite activities for most campers. Tonight, we provided themes for each hill…Hillbrook had nature and animals. (Rockin Robin, Here Comes the Sun). Heigh Ho had holidays…Christmas, Easter themed songs…Pineview had musicals (Phantom, Grease, Hairspray, Sound of Music). When I compare notes with my friends who run boy’s camps (Falling Creek, High Rocks, Carolina)…it’s hard for me to relate to the extremes they go to for evening programs. For girls, give em a stage and a well-equipped costume closet, and they are happy as clams!
It was not a good day for chickens today. We had a pizza snafu from our favorite crust vendor, and served chicken tenders at lunch today, and then had our regularly scheduled dinner…Orange chicken and spring rolls, green beans, and salad with rolls…and dirt cake for dessert. Dirt Cake? Homemade (really) chocolate pudding, oreos crushed on top, gummy worms swimming throughout…served in a flower pot. Yummm! Despite my day exercising my plumbing skills, it was a stellar day. Hey, I think we took care of an additional 2% of the old pipe left. That leaves about 8%. What are the chances that it could fail this summer? I’m home free!