by Chelsea Connor Posted Apr 22, 2019
Caleb “Wheelin N Dealin” Carter is the new camp director at the Ranch in East Texas, and we are thrilled to have him back at Pine Cove! He has been in his fair share of skits from his summer staff days (this one is an all-time favorite), and everyone at the Ranch will be blessed by the way he loves the Lord!
Where are you originally from, and where did you go to college?
I am originally from Greenville, South Carolina—which awkwardly has a social media slogan: “#yeahTHATgreenville,” because apparently it’s ya know… the Greenville that everyone’s talking about? And I attended Clemson University, AKA Dabo’s World.
What is your history with Pine Cove?
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 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 Camp in the City, formerly known as Base Camps, and was in this role from 2009 – 2017.
Tell us about your family. How did you meet your wife?
I have been married to Hannah “Patilla” Carter since August 11, 2012. We had a firecracker (and we mean this) born on the 4th of July, 2018. Her name is Anderson Ross Carter, and she does not yet let her daddy snuggle her for more than three seconds. 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.
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 are some of your favorite things to do with your family?
With a new member in the Carter Family, we have developed some new favorites. The most recent favorite involves Anderson using her feet in the bath. The apparatus she sits in has her laying back at a 45-degree angle with her feet in the water. She has started slamming her feet into the water repeatedly, causing water to cover every square inch of the bathroom. Hannah and I will be standing upright, and our entire outfits will be soaked. We laugh, Anderson laughs, and it’s just an all-around hoot.
What is a random talent you have?
I can actually fit “all of that” into the back of the car, even if it would seem to some that it’s a daring and impossible feat!!!!
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was little I wanted to be two things: 1) the best basketball player who ever lived, and 2) Jim Carrey. I didn’t want to be LIKE Jim Carrey. I wanted to be actual Jim Carrey.
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 have you seen the Holy Spirit move while at camp?
I remember having the sweetest interactions with God at camp, through the Holy Spirit: moments when He would speak revelation to my heart, moments that He would reveal His nature to me, moments that He would convict me, moments that He would increase my hunger to know Him. The Spirit definitely moved through me and the other staff and moved in the campers over the years, but what stands out to me most is the ways He would speak love to my heart while I set my gaze on Him during these seasons.
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.