Psalm 77:11-13 “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your wonders of old. I will ponder all Your work, and meditate on Your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy.What god is great like our God?”
When I think about this verse, one of the first things that comes to mind is the amazing grace of getting to work for Pine Cove, and how the Lord has used it to draw me closer to Him. I spent three summers on summer staff, three years as the Timbers’ Men’s Director, and five months in IT at Pine Cove’s headquarters. Here are a few lessons the Lord has been teaching me during my time at Pine Cove.
- Follow the Conductor
During my first summer at camp, I remember the Holy Spirit giving me this analogy: both camp and life are like an orchestra. Everything in life (and at camp) is designed to follow God—the Great Conductor. From the ziplines to the dining hall, from skits to Bible studies, and from the workplace to your family, everything was created for the symphonic purpose of glorifying God. Then the Holy Spirit asked me, “What areas in your life aren’t following the Conductor? What areas of your life are trying to play their own music?” The Lord has been gracious in highlighting which areas of my life are not following Him. They sour the symphony meant for His praise! Like an orchestra, life is much more beautiful and purposeful when we’re following the Great Conductor with every instrument we’ve been given.
[1 Corinthians 10:31]
- Others-Focused > Self-Focused
In more than six years of working at Pine Cove, this has been one of the most consistent lessons the Lord has continuously taught me. Pine Cove does an excellent job of teaching “It’s not about you” and then also following up with “It’s about Him and others!” When my life is others-focused, I’m much more joyous, generous, patient, caring, and considerate. When my life is self-focused, I am prideful and agenda-driven as I see others as a way to promote my brand, not Christ’s. Plus, life is much more fulfilling and joyous when I am putting others above myself! [Philippians 2:1-11]
- The Words “Perfect” and “Camp” Don’t Go Together
You can plan for months, schedule everything out correctly, train thoroughly, communicate excellently, and then life happens. Something comes up. It rains on your outdoor game. The power goes out. A staffer gets sick. You spill coffee on your computer. But praise the Lord when things don’t go as planned! The Lord has used this to show me how often I valued perfection over His Glory, which led to a lot of stress and rigidness and fear. Instead, there is joy and freedom in simultaneously striving for excellence while trusting in the Lord for the results. Open those hands! [Proverbs 16:9, Psalm 20:7]
- Find Great Leaders and Follow Them
I’ve had some amazing friends and bosses at Pine Cove. Will “Beats” Brown first told me to apply to Pine Cove in 2012, Trevor “Buckets” Pownell was my Program Director in 2016, TJ “Philly” Conor was my Director at the Timbers from 2015-2020, Taylor “Roctober” Gembol was my Timbers Director in 2020, and Seth “Dr. Peter Parker Pepper” Stone is now my Director in IT. These are all men of God I aspire to imitate, and spending time with them is the one of the best things I have done for my personal, spiritual, and professional development. Praise God for these men! [1 Corinthians 11:1]
- Let the Helper Help You
When there’s always more to do, how do I go to bed at night and actually rest? How do I know if I’ve ever done enough? These two questions have haunted me for a long time, until the Holy Spirit graciously gave me the answer I wasn’t looking for: “Follow Me every day. When you wake up, give Me the day. On your way to work, let’s talk. When you plan out your schedule, pray over it. If I interrupt your schedule, know that I’ve got you. When you don’t know what to do during Free Time, walk around and let Me lead you (some crazy cool stuff has happened here!). When you go to bed at night, know that every part of your day was led by Me—and I’m reminding you that you’re fully approved by the Father because of Jesus Christ, not the deeds of today.” Let the Helper help you! [John 14:26]
Bonus: There are 17 meals a week at youth camp…
…and more than 17 different ways to serve chicken. [Psalm 107:9]