by Jenny Sowers Posted Aug 10, 2021
I got to work for Chris Boddy for five years at the Woods. My spiritual life, heart for service, and leadership style are forever changed and enriched by serving under his leadership. Chris has such a way about him to challenge those around him, while also continually breaking down walls through his sense of humor and high energy. He embodies a unique blend of having a blast, trusting his team, and seeking advice from those under him, while also boldly and confidently leading his flock forward. Conducting this interview and sharing some of who he is, was a total delight. I hope you enjoy reading about one of Pine Cove’s most steadfast leaders.
How long have you been working at Pine Cove and how did you end up here?
My first summer was 2008 at the Timbers. We ended up here because we were ready to leave Branson and move back to Texas. Sarah, my wife, and I were still in Branson and went on a date to talk about what was next for us. While we were at the restaurant, Sarah saw a guy she used to work with, who worked at Pine Cove, and he said Pine Cove was building some new camps and we should look into it. And Sarah knew the Langemeier family so we reached out to them, and we talked, and the rest is history! Sarah worked for years under Craig “Dutch” Langemeier at the Ranch. I had never heard of Pine Cove before Sarah, but for her, it was like coming back home.
In all these years of camp food, what is your favorite camp meal?
Anything at family camp. Nothing at youth camp (he laughs). One year, I think my favorite single thing on a plate was the lobster mashed potatoes. Those were amazing.
What is your current position?
Senior Director of Ministries for East Texas and the Woods Camp Director.
What is your camp name and how did you get it?
My camp name is Broflex. The first thing I did after I was hired was come to leadership weekend and they kind of named me in the room I was staying in. It was Jimbo “TMI” Mercer and Jake “Squirmy Wormy” Porter who kind of came up with the name. They said, ‘Okay so your name is Chris Boddy and what works out your body? A boflex.’ And in college, I got a concussion and ended up in the other team’s huddle. At Wheaton where I played, we would hold hands in our huddle, so when I was in the other team’s huddle I tried to hold hands with their teammates. So Jimbo and Jake said that I was like, ‘Hey bros, just here, trying to hold hands with my bros!’ So they named me Broflex.
Tell us about your family.
I am married to Sarah and we have four kids. Brex is 12, Jet 10, Bliss 8, and Story 5. And we now have a dog named Izzy.
What is your favorite theme night you’ve ever participated in?
When I was at the Timbers, we did this pirate theme night and it was so fun because we got big refrigerator boxes and gave each cabin one to decorate and build into a boat. Then we put them all in the pool, and the last one standing won. It was just so fun!
And you have to add Turkish Delight and Powderpuff nights. Just a blast.
Who is your favorite skit character you’ve ever played? And who is the most epic skit character you’ve ever watched on stage?
I’m not in many skits anymore, but my favorite to be was one of the Fronas Brothers at the Timbers. And my favorites to watch were always Angus and Glue Gun who ‘put the man back in roMANce’ at the marriage conferences at the Woods.
What is your favorite part about working at a family camp?
Challenging and encouraging parents to spiritually lead their kids. This place provides a really cool platform to do that in a way that isn’t intimidating.
Especially these last few years, people are just beat down, isolated, feeling fear and anxiety. But this is a place where people can just laugh and life feels normal. Watching husbands and wives just be completely goofy and laughing and dancing and just getting to look around at the faces during silent disco and how much fun they’re having together. We get to challenge and fuel parents to lead their families, but also we get to allow them a place to be goofy and remind them of when life can just be fun. We get to be a place where parents get to be kids again.
What is your ideal day off?
The lawn is already mowed. Slow morning where kids sleep in, but Sarah and I get to get up and read and have a quiet house for at least two hours. Then making brunch as a family, pancakes or something like that. Playing cards or games, then a slow stay at the house and an afternoon movie. Olympics on and pizza for dinner.
How has working at camp changed you?
It’s taught me how to be humble. None of this is about me, but rather it’s about the Lord and joining him in what He is doing. In inadequacy, He is adequate. Learning to sacrifice so that others can be blessed–whatever we can do to take the extra burden so that someone else can be relaxed. Camp has really taught me about Philippians 2 and putting others’ interests above my own. Especially this year, I have just been learning that people are really, really hurting and they need Truth. They need to hear the truth about what God says about them instead of lies that they buy into. This is probably the most raw lesson I have learned recently.