Scenic view of trees at camp

How to Bump the Lamp in Everyday Life

by Valerie Morby


One of the cornerstones of the training that every Pine Cove staff member receives is the phrase “Bump the Lamp.” It’s repeated constantly at camp—and has even appeared on t-shirts—but what does it mean? The short version is “going the extra mile.” The medium version is “going above and beyond, especially in areas that most people might not even notice.” (For the long version, you’ll need to be hired on staff and attend Pine Cove orientation!)

Of course, camp isn’t the only place you can Bump the Lamp. Here are a few tips to help you go above and beyond in everyday life—for the glory of God.


Pray that God would open your eyes to opportunities
Bumping the Lamp is more than just doing nice things. It’s true service, which many times involves sacrifice. Let the Lord lead you! Ask Him to help you put on a mindset of humility, that you might serve graciously and selflessly. Bump the Lamp and go the extra mile not only knowing that no one might be watching you, but also knowing that no one might ever know what you’d done. Remember that what you do for “one of the least of these brothers and sisters,” you do for Him! (Matthew 25:40)


Look through the eyes of someone else
What do the people around you need? Can you leave someone a caring note to let them know you see them and their efforts? The dishes in the break room sink might not bother you, but think about how much it would bless your co-workers to go ahead and wash them! Why not pick up some trash when you’re out on a walk? Put on your “Pine Cove staffer” glasses. What are you not seeing that you could change for the better? Try to find ways to go out of your way to show care and kindness however you can.


Seek to Bump the Lamp in all areas of your life
Bumping the Lamp goes beyond picking up trash and washing dishes. (Although both of those are often needed and always appreciated!) Bump the Lamp in your attitude, your environment, and in your relationships. How can you go above and beyond in something as simple as how you react and respond to people? What can you do to affect your immediate surroundings for the better? How can you project a joyful, “happy to help” demeanor to those around you? 

Bumping the Lamp is ultimately about loving and caring for people, and we do that because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). Going the extra mile in every aspect of your life, even when it might not get noticed, is a beautiful way we can glorify the Lord. Join us as we seek to Bump in the Lamp in 2020 and beyond.

Posted Jan 8, 2020

Valerie Morby

Social Media and Copy Manager

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