Welcome to another special “Wednesday Words ” Post. Yes, I know it is Thursday! Today’s Blogger is Jessica Stilwell, if the names sounds familiar that’s because her dad, Rod, wrote a Wednesday Words post for us last June! I’m sure you will enjoy Jessica’s “take” on the Day Camp Committee!
“I began my association with Crosstalk as a Scrambler, I think, although my earliest camp memories are of being in Sarah Grace’s Climber group where she complimented my art and was my eight-year-old self’s biggest hero, and, in the years since then, I’ve worn many hats. The Day Camps Planning Committee is the latest, and, perhaps, the most fashionable. I’m coming into my second year sitting on the Committee, and it’s been an interesting experience seeing what goes on behind the scenes of the program that’s been a major part of my life as long as I can remember.
Committee meetings are terribly glamorous. We eat together, pray together, and occasionally dissolve into fits of laughter as someone shares an anecdote (always relevant to the topic at hand, of course) from their camp experiences. Most importantly, however, we discuss the real issues behind Day Camps, many of which never crossed my mind as a team member, team leader, parish coordinator, or trainer/workshop facilitator.
Questions like, “Should we have a house Eucharist at one of the Team Gatherings this year?” and “Who should we ask to design the logo for next year’s program?” get discussed as early as August, and I wouldn’t have thought to ask them to begin with. The seemingly mundane is what makes Day Camps tick, and those small details are ones that we spend a lot of time thinking about and discussing. One of our most pressing questions this past year was about copyright law and the Liturgical Dance DVD; another involved finding someone to organize the fundraiser Coffeehouse.
Thankfully, part of our role as a Committee is one of my favourite words: delegation. Each of the members has a network of contacts, both associated with the program previously and not, and a lot of our brainstorming is around who would be the best person to ask to take on specific tasks. I think it’s safe to say that we follow the logic of that old saying, that Jesus picked disciples, He didn’t ask for volunteers. While volunteerism is one of the backbones of Day Camps, knowing who to call upon, and how to hold them accountable for what they promise, is something that Committee members end up cultivating. It’s amazing to hear all of the names that come forward when we need people to write manual chapters, give workshops, sort supplies, organize events, or take photos: we are blessed with such a large community of hugely talented people. I think we’re also blessed that many of those people have a genuine servant heart, and are willing to give up their time and resources to help us fulfill our role.
As we start to plan the upcoming year – already we’re looking at the manual, the slideshow, the non-camp events that keep us connected to that all-important community during the rest of the year – it’s wonderful to know that we’re supported. As a committee, we support each other in finding answers to those all-important but easily overlooked questions, we fill in gaps, we collaborate and we strike sub-committees and we share the load. We’re also tremendously supported by the Day Camps community, by the wider Crosstalk community, and by the Christian community in Montreal and beyond.
Planning a summer of camps and another three seasons of community-building activities is no easy task, and, some meetings, it seems like nothing is going to ever go right. Ultimately, though, we always work to remain aware that this is His program, and we are His hands and feet in the world. The most important member of the Cay Camps Planning Committee is not Wil, although he would like to think he is, but Christ, who inspires us with new ideas, new answers, who challenges us and then gives us the skills and the courage to meet those challenges, and whose presence gives us that all-important peace and blessed assurance when it’s April and we’re missing eight churches.
I think, over the eighteen-ish years that I’ve been involved with Day Camps, the most important thing that I’ve learned is that God has an amazing plan, beyond anything we could ever ask or imagine, and, when we’re open to His guidance, the possibilities are limitless. Every year, He finds a new way to show me that His plan is really, really, really good, and I’m excited to see how He reveals Himself to the Committee this year!”