by Jenny Sowers Posted Sep 29, 2020
Andrew “Get Smart” Boshell has been the Towers camp director since 2012, after short stints at the Bluffs and Woods family camps. Before that, he went to college at the University of Alabama and spent two summers on summer staff at the Towers. Even if you don’t know Andrew, you have likely heard the famous Towers mantra that began under his leadership: “God is capable, God is strong, God is able.” This battle cry has been his charge and encouragement to his staff on every opening day throughout his time at the Towers.
How did you get your camp name?
It centers around three stories where I had done silly things that made me look like an idiot (laughs). Lacey Murphy actually named me and then four summers later she was my Assistant Program Director, so that was fun to have it all come full circle. Anyway, I was named around the time when Steve Carell’s movie Get Smart was popular and so after hearing all my stories, she said, “I just say we name this guy Get Smart,” and that was that!
Tell me about your family.
The most amazing ladies in the world. Ashley and I have been married for almost 10 years. We have three little ladies: Liv, Maggie, and Eden. We just love spending time together, nothing flashy, just little moments together. We love walking to the park, getting donuts, and reading books. We just gravitate toward all the daily activities.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
The most consistent thing was a professional baseball player. I started playing when I was six years old and played all the way through high school and so much of my world revolved around baseball. A lot of our family vacations growing up centered around traveling to baseball stadiums and going to baseball games together. I just always loved the game.
What is your favorite camp activity?
At the Towers, we started a tradition that happens during week 10: our Twimbledon tournament. It is a program staff/work crew pickleball tournament. We play doubles on Monday with some play-in games, and then we have 16 games throughout the week. It all comes down to a final championship on Friday during free time. I genuinely look forward to it all year long.
What is one attribute of God you witnessed while working during the crazy summer of 2020?
Oh man, that’s a good question. Starting out summer was really crazy in the midst of a pandemic… and I just kept thinking, ‘Why in the world is this happening?’ You know, the age old question, ‘God is a good God, so why are we experiencing hard things?’ Our leadership team and I read a book leading up to summer called The Attributes of God by A.W. Tozer, and I was just reminded over and over again that God is in control.
One thing I come back to the most when I think about God being in control is the creation story and how He spoke it into being. God hasn’t changed. He is still completely in control. He is in control of my life and all of this. His ability to be in charge of everything at the same time is just awesome. He has never been more in control than He is at this moment. Because He can’t not be in perfect control of everything at the same time. He never changes and is sovereign.
What is your favorite Bible verse or passage?
My favorite passage would have to be Philippians 2:1-11. It’s talking about the humility of Christ, and that is a super challenging passage that comes to my mind almost daily. It is one that I continually come back to and make sure is memorized and locked away in my mind and heart. It just really challenges your character and how you choose to live every day and in every relationship. At Pine Cove, we are reminded that “it’s not about me.” But that’s not just a camp thing, that’s a Bible thing. I need to look out for other people just as much, if not more, than myself.
Who is one Pine Cove staffer who has really impacted you?
Man, I could go with a few. But I am going to mention Craig “Dutch” Langemeier. Really early on, I just learned a ton from him: short one-liners, ideas, and mentalities. The way I lead and care for people and even some of the goals I have as a camp director have come from something he has said or from watching him. I just learned so much from him about customer service and about valuing people over tasks.
One of the things he told me that he hoped for was that his staff would feel like an extension of his family. That is something Ashley and I really fight for every summer—to let our staff see us as parents, and in marriage, and let them in and be there.
Oh! And I also learned from Craig about the idea of creating “raving fans” and fighting for families, and the mentality that “Jesus didn’t die for the office.” Jesus was always for people and never about an agenda or a timeline. Craig and his wife, Carrie, have just been really big influences in our lives.
What are some of your favorite things right now?
Exercise, specifically I love doing Crossfit. Blue Bell ice cream. Fantasy football. I love board games and card games. And that’s about it for now!
There is a mantra at the Towers that has become pretty renowned. How did the “God is capable, God is strong, God is able” chant begin?
It just started my first summer as director. It was the reminder I felt like we all needed going into the week. Every opening day, we listen to a song about God’s power. And then we chant this and it’s the reminder we need going into the week. What our staff don’t know at the time is that they are going to reach a point where they’ve never been more tired in their lives. My hope is always that they wouldn’t do camp in their own strength, and to remind and encourage them to lean on God and who He is and His ability and urging them in that direction. It just kind of organically happened, but it has now become an anthem, or a battle cry, for each week.
How has working at camp changed you?
Oh gosh. Literally every possible way. Camp started building on a foundation of just believing in God. I knew about my faith, but when I think about exercising my faith, camp is where that began. In 2009, in my small group led by Matt Murphy, we talked about how to be a man of God, and I had no clue what that meant. Pine Cove has taught me how to live by faith, and everything I know about parenting and marriage has come from working here and the people that work here. I cannot imagine what I would be doing if I wouldn’t have come to work on summer staff, much less on full-time staff. Every daily decision that I make is different because of my time at Pine Cove.