By The Rev. Rock Higgins
One of the joys of working on the mountain, and returning for several years in a row, is getting to see the numerous staffs come and perform beautifully. Even more wonderful is watching timid first year folks on the periphery move into the circle slowly and then into leadership over the course of summers. It is a what camp is about, both for the campers and for the adults who lead, Growth, Change, Transformation. This year is already shaping up to be a resounding success.
Looking around the circle of directors and assistant directors I saw faces I know well, and folks I only have met over pixelated Skype calls. The spirit, however short the interaction time, though, is the same. Anticipation, Hope, Excitement, Wisdom. All this swirling together to make a mix that is the leadership of Shrine Mont. One thing that struck me as I sat in that circle for this season was that all the planning and preparation was like what happens before a holiday, all the chopping and slicing and baking and grating with the parade or game on in the background. One of my favorite parts of getting ready for a feast is the aroma, all of the goodness mixed together that makes me salivate and get excited for all the goodness that is about to come. Yeah, staff training is like that. It is a prelude to a feast.
Like with all feasts, accidents and mishaps will happen, and all those working together fix it or alleviate what went wrong. This year, we prayed for our new South African friends who were in visa-limbo to arrive safe and sound. (They did.) But even if they had not, I knew that it would all work out and be okay. Camp is a self-correcting system where even the worst can be turned if not to great, at least to passable. Master chefs can do that, and I know that the Shrine Mont camp staffs can, too.
As our leaders, both nascent and (some well) seasoned, go into commissioning and campers arrive on the mountain let us all stop and ask a blessing of Thanksgiving, giving thanks and praise for what has already happened on the mountain this season and let us celebrate the Feast that is to come.
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.