It’s important to reconnect every so often. To touch back to the important people and the important places – the people and places that you love, friends and family. It’s necessary to return to the source of your inspiration and remember why you’ve pursued your life’s path.
As one of the directors and administrators of Camps Kahdalea and Chosatonga, life is often caught in the tension between satisfaction and stress. It is an absolute joy to work in this camp family, but, like in any worthy mission, the joys come alongside plenty of obstacles to navigate. The work is a complex blend of enriching relationships, mutual support and teamwork, tolerance for the unexpected, and steady commitment to the heart of what our mission is all about.
It’s easy to forget the joy of the mountain tops when slogging through a valley of “to-do lists” and necessary phone calls. It’s important to breathe in occasionally and refocus on what’s most important, to remind myself of why we do what we do here at CKC.
Last month I found myself cruising across the Carolina coastal plain, mountain-bound and ready for adventure. My goal was not to miss the little moments with the incoming JC Retreat crew, to enjoy the people in my presence, and to help others understand the “Why” behind the work we do in the mountains. Here are some of the moments that have stayed with me from that weekend.
SIGHT: The sight of smiling JCs with shoes strapped over their shoulders physically supporting one another during a slippery river crossing in a deep forest creek
SMELL: The indescibable scent that comes into my car windows as I climb in elevation into our beautiful valleys we call home, the satisfying smell of a crackling fire, the multilayered aromas wafting around a deep, appalachian river gorge.
SOUND: The sound of the first bell ringing in the Kahdalea valley this year, signalling the coming of summer! The sound of the roaring laughter arising from the pool beneath sliding rock on a chilly April evening 🙂 The sound of many voices singing in the chapel before Anne Trufant’s talk on Saturday night.
TOUCH: The coarse sensation of wood on my hands as we gathered it up for a fire, the electric feeling of finding the bombardment ball land in your palms, and the strong handshake of meeting new friends at camp for the first time.
TASTE: The victorious taste of the Pisgah Perfection ice cream cone at Dolly’s after a full and wonderful day reuniting with old friends, and the warmth of hot chocolate in front of the fire after a cool front came through on our last day.
The most important things of all? The profound feeling of grounded belonging in our camp family and the overwhelming sense of God’s love and guidance in this place and with these people. The way all of these things mix together is heartening and uplifting; honest laughter, authentic and unplugged conversations, the smiles that linger on everyone’s faces, the satisfaction of learning a new swing dance move, and the interweaving of fun, outdoor activities, all the while refelcting on the principles of leading a good life, a life of peace and sacrifice, a life which flourishes when faith is put in the One who made us for this particular time and this particular journey. Finally, the knowledge that every participant is going home better prepared for the challenges of their roads ahead precisely because of the love they encounter at camp. This is so fun 🙂 This is why we do what we do.
Thank you to all the visiting Junior Counselors for reminding me of the joy and heart of our Camp Family. Big love to y’all and I can not wait to hang with all of you in a matter of weeks!