by Laura McHugh Posted Feb 18, 2014
From the first moment our vans passed the sign to the Outback camp to the moment our Tyler staff headed back home, Pine Cove’s staff retreat was an uproariously good time. After months of planning, our staff needs team was excited to finally get to enjoy three days of fun, food, and renewal with the rest of our staff.
Stomachs were sore from laughing at “Boddy” and “Gerald” as Andrew Boshell and Jake Collins hosted the retreat with unbelievable humor and skill. No one wears stilts and extra-long gym pants quite like Andrew as he mimicked Jared Schuler’s hosting from last year! After most meals our hosts game showed up with some highly competitive rounds of Guys vs. Girls Family Feud. With questions like “Which foods are best to throw in a food fight,” how could anyone lose? Though “ketchup packets” and “bowls of jello” were not correct answers, they were noble guesses. In the end, although the ladies gave a valiant effort, the MEN won! (Men, men, men, men…)
Free time saw many cutthroat rounds of Jungle Pong, Zorb Ball, Texas Hold ‘Em, Spike Ball, and many other tournaments. Each night was filled with laughter, competition, and the cheers from dedicated spectators. In addition, we took time each meal to recognize “Hidden Heroes”—staff who work behind the scenes at our camps or in our main office that do not get the front line recognition like some of our other staff, but who work just as hard.
Though there was a copious amount of fun, the sweetest moments of the retreat focused on our unity in Christ. The first evening we worshiped together and wow – our staff worshiping together is a loud and powerful thing! Then Mario spoke and cast the vision for this next year of ministry. Seeing how much the Lord has blessed Pine Cove is truly phenomenal. The next afternoon we had a beautiful time of communal prayer and adoration to the Lord. The second night, we had our annual Philippians 2 awards. Each year we take time as a staff to stand and publicly encourage other staff members for how they live out different character qualities found in Phil 2. It was a humbling, encouraging, and joy-filled time for the entire staff.
After three wonderful days retreating in Columbus, we are ready to run headlong into the summer—hearts filled with unified vision and purpose. Praise the Most High God for His blessings and this time together as a staff!