A week at summer camp: Part 2

So tagging on to my previous post about going back to summer camp, I was most excited about these three things:
1. My nephew going to Kanakuk/ road trip with him and my brother
2. Seeing a few old friends
3. Serving any and all staff for the week
Immediately after walking into the camp on opening day, I hugged a guy that meant a lot to me when I was working at K-West. Actually, he and his wife met at K-West during one of the summers I was there. DSC09255 DSC09254He goes by the name Sparky and she goes by Rachel. Awesome people. So glad I got to see them again. I also got to see the director of K-West, Ward Wiebe, an awesome man who I also reference in this post.

I knew in my heart of hearts it was going to be a great week, but I didn’t know I’d leave inspired by all the people there. It’s a whole different culture where they really do put God first, others second, and themselves third. I have become so accustomed to “the ways of the world” that I forgot we’re commanded to love other people like we love ourselves. This week at Kanakuk was a refreshing reminder of the second greatest commandment (the #1 commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength).

Good times in Missouri! There was also a bird nest in the teepee my brother and I were sleeping in. I’ll write more later about those baby birds, and more about what I mean when I say we slept in teepees, it wasn’t a typo.

-Out of the Wilderness

Routine

In the summer of 2000, I worked at Kanakuk Kamps in Lampe, Missouri. In fact, I worked there for that summer and the next two. One of my favorite parts of the camp was the kitchen. Talk about good food, the cooks there were good at what they did. However, on days I wasn’t in the mood for “Frito Love,” there was peanut butter and jelly. Not secretly my favorite sandwich of all time. One day, as I sat down with a couple of sandwiches in my normal seat at the middle table, the director of the camp said to me, “creature of habit.” He was referencing how I chose to sit in the same spot pretty much every single meal. He was right on the money. I guess I never realized how routined I was until he said it. And routines are a good thing. They provide stability, normalcy, a way to measure growth and progress, and as was my case at the camp, safety and comfort. I began working at this camp without knowing anyone. It was far away from my family, and all of my friends. So having my place to sit and eat meals became familiar. And I can’t think of anything more important for a person who feels out of place than familiarity.

Fast forward to 2009, and I was still that same creature of habit. Between balancing work, friends, and whatever else came up, I developed a routine that worked. I started my job at nine, worked out at the YMCA during lunch, and went home at six. Then in December I got a puppy. Hello new routine.

If I could quickly offer some advice, when you’re considering puppy adoption, do it! And also, do it in the spring or late summer. Training a dog in the winter is cold, exhausting, and cold. I learned the hard way that I was slower at putting on warm clothes at 4 A.M. than she was at making yellow puddles. So adopt a dog, then buy some carpet cleaner. My dog’s “accidents” became less and less frequent, however, when I learned the most important ingredient in training, routine. Through establishing a routine, I got better (and more) sleep, and she learned to hold it till she was outside. Routines are a good thing.

We are all creatures of habit and even though we may stray a bit on day to day activities, our weeks, months, and years will highlight an overall routine. And that’s a good thing. It means you are stable. Just remember, there’s a fine line between routine and rut. So have enough of a routine to feel safe, but every so often shock the system by sitting in a different spot.