Caleb “Wheelin’ N Dealin’” Carter is not stranger to Pine Cove since he started his staff journey as a summer staffer in 2007. He faithfully served as director for our Ranch and Springs youth camps, and now serves as the camp director at our Chimney Point family camp in South Carolina. (Bonus: this SC native now gets to catch a Clemson game or two in person!)
What is your history with Pine Cove?
I am originally from Greenville, South Carolina and attended Clemson University, AKA Dabo’s World. I came by myself from South Carolina all the way to East Texas in 2007 to work at the Shores as a counselor. The next summer was the Timbers’ opening summer, and I joined the squad as a Senior Counselor and Assistant Program Director. I did these roles again in ’09, then I was the Program Director in 2010!
I served on staff at a church in Tyler after that summer, but I remained connected to Pine Cove as the first ever Director Husband! My wife Hannah was the founding Director of Pine Cove City, formerly known as Camp in the City or Base Camps.
I returned to Pine Cove as the Ranch camp director from 2019 to 2021, then our family made the big return to the Southeast when I served as the director for the first two summers of the Springs youth camp from 2022 to 2023.
Tell us about your family.
I have been married to Hannah “Patilla” Carter since August 11, 2012. Hannah and I met on summer staff at the Shores in 2007, but we didn’t really get to know one another until she joined the full-time staff at the Timbers while I was on leadership there.
We had a firecracker (and we mean this) born on the Fourth of July in 2018. Her name is Anderson and though she is a major daddy’s girl, she is still averse to my snuggles. Austen was born in March 2020, right before the pandemic. Then we added Camden in March of 2023.
What are some of your favorite things to do as a family?
Life has been so crazy with adding a new kid into our family recently. Donuts with the girls is probably our most consistent tradition and one they always look forward to. We love playing sports as a family and you can regularly find us getting our energy out at a local park.
What is your most embarrassing moment at camp?
At the Timbers, we had a really good time with skits. Year after year, we had heavy hitter after heavy hitter in the skit circuit. Broflex. TMI. TBA. Xena. Shrimpy. One of my go-to moves in skits was to put myself in a precarious place where I knew my weight leaning a certain way would cause me to have a very real, very explosive wipeout. One day I took it too far. As the villain, to end the skit one day, I decided to dive onto a table of 8th-grade girls. Due to some miscalculations, I ended up with a pretty severe abrasion on my left leg. It was bleeding. On their table and food. People were laughing hysterically thinking the injury and blood were fake. I was crying because both were real. If you were one of those girls, from the bottom of my leg, I’m sorry.
What is your favorite Bible verse or passage?
Ephesians 1 has two sections that have impacted me deeply as I’ve engaged with them. 1) The very beginning: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” When we contemplate the results of Jesus living, dying in our place, and resurrecting in power, we often limit it to a destination of heaven vs. hell. But the reality is, the Holy One who made all things has re-established unity with us. Can we even fathom the joys that come from actually knowing Him? 2) The section starting with verse 18, but includes: “I keep praying for you, that you would receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened,” and this goes on to say some very dynamic things. “…The immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe.” I like this because it creates a hunger for being filled with the delight of being in communion with God. It sets our sights on what God has wanted for us all along, and what He has achieved for us in the Gospel.
How has camp changed you?
Working at Pine Cove has equipped me in a few very specific ways. 1) Being a counselor taught me how to love sacrificially. The vision we have for counselors in cabins is a life-changing vision. It’s the closest I’ll ever come to being a single parent of eight boys. 2) I have learned to find a supernatural layer of strength and joy, provided by Heaven through the Holy Spirit in me when I am 100% depleted as a man. I remember the first time I tapped into this for real. I was a program director and it was Week 8. I could barely stand or move. I was about to lead the staff in the most outward expression of energy of the whole week: the Gauntlet. I chose to believe that the Holy Spirit has power, and I sprinted out there and had the best Gauntlet of the whole summer. 3) I learned how to communicate as a man, as opposed to communicating as a grown boy. Be ready to speak truth at all times. Look people in the eye. Stand up straight. Have hard conversations. Lead. These were things that changed in me drastically after working summers at camp.
Posted Sep 15, 2021