David Drebes leads Chaplain's Time.
What started as a chance meeting in a parking lot resulted in a new chaplain for Shrine Mont Camps. Pastor David Drebes of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, just up the road from Shrine Mont in Bayse, Va., first met Bishop Ted Gulick when the bishop was searching for a cell phone signal in the Prince of Peace parking lot. The two got to talking, and before too long got to thinking about a natural partnership between the young pastor and the nearby Shrine Mont Camps.
Each session of Shrine Mont Camps has a chaplain who leads the group in prayer and reflection every day of the camp session. More often than not, that chaplain is an Episcopalian. But with his local community connection - coupled with the fact that the Episcopal Church is in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church - David made a good fit for St. George's Session II (10-11 year olds).
David is a graduate of an ecumenical seminary (he earned his master of divinity at Princeton University), and he has a good number of Episcopal parishioners in his own congregation. So his biggest learning curve wasn't the Episcopal part, but rather learning about the unique traits of Shrine Mont Camps. "I'm enjoying getting an understanding of the traditions for Shrine Mont," most notably the Shouting Prayer, David said. He served as a camp counselor at a Lutheran camp before, so it's not all new territory.
During Chaplain's Time, David spends time with the 90 or so kids surrounding the theme of St. George's Camp: The Body of Christ. He focuses on storytelling to connect abstract images to concrete ideas. "In general, I like just letting them ask their questions."
For Shrine Mont Camps, it's an added plus that David is a part of the local community. He's served at the nearby Prince of Peace for three years. "What's really exciting is that he's a pastor from the area," said Paris Ball, director of camps. "It's great to see our camp programs building connections with the local community."
David agrees. "My parishioners were really happy that I'm serving up here," he said. Shrine Mont "holds a special place in the hearts of this community."
By Emily Cherry
Spreading the good news of Shrine Mont Camps into the Valley of the World.
The View from the Mountain is written by a rotating cast of staff writers and contributors.