That Place Within
Updated: Jun 6, 2019
There is much that we do as camp directors that is familiar to the job.The things that lie on the surface. You know what I am talking about. It’s the programs that we plan, market and execute, for example. The staff that we hire, motivate and train. The budgets that we labor over and produce. The projects that we see through to completion. These things can and often do occupy every bit of our time and energy. They are the necessary and the routine of what we do and they seldom produce a dull moment (well, except for budgeting).
But when time provides or circumstances dictate we allow ourselves brief ‘trips’ below the surface. It’s in this place that we are reminded of our mission. It’s where we face the question of why we do what we do. And as we choose to hang out here we realize that this is where our passions reside and where we can make sense of the day to day. It’s a restorative place for us. Maybe, because, it is where God hangs out the most.
The challenge for us camp director-types is to not let the demands of the surface keep us on the surface. While we strive to produce wonderfully, creative programs led by highly trained staff utilizing first class facilities supported by generous funding with sound strategic principles… what?, that’s not your camp? Well, you know what I mean – while we are efforting towards those things we need to be careful not to miss the core. We need to be reminded of what lies within.
I think Elijah would be the perfect spokesperson for this endeavor. Substitute ‘camp director’ for ‘prophet’ and you’ll see what I mean (1 Kings 17-19). Elijah’s ‘surface’ was proclaiming the word of the Lord; motivating the masses; correcting the kings of the land and standing up against evil. It was a busy life. His story included a nasty drought; being fed by ravens while camping in the wilderness; provided for by a destitute widow and a contest that brought fire down from heaven. Now that’s some significant action!
But his failure to find his ‘place within’ brought him to a realm of unrealized expectations; total frustration and even deep depression. He was so revved up being a prophet that he forgot whose work he was doing. He so much thought that his place was in the storm and the fire that he missed the still small voice (of God) telling him something altogether different.
So, this blog won’t be about programming, marketing and budgeting. Instead I will try to focus on pulling back the curtain, slowing the train, hitting the pause button and looking at the big picture (and a host of other metaphors). It will be about finding our camp from within. I would love to have you join me in this venture.
– Tom Beaumont