Scenic view of trees at camp

Staff Profile: Coleman “Busta Rhyme” Ross

by Karissa Pitaniello


We’re so excited for you to get to learn more about our awesome Bluffs director Coleman “Busta Rhyme” Ross! Coleman grew up in Dallas before heading to Oklahoma State University. Throughout his summers he joined the Pine Cove summer staff team, but that wasn’t his first Pine Cove experience! Coleman grew up going to family camp every summer—talk about a full-circle experience! 

If you were to give someone an elevator pitch on who you are, what would you say?
I grew up in Dallas, Texas, and attended Oklahoma State University. Go Pokes! I’ve been married to my wife McKenzie for nine years and we’ve got three kiddos. We have two boys and a girl: Harrison, Paxton, and Landry Kate! We’re really grateful. 


How did you get to Pine Cove?
I grew up going to camp—I was a family camper at the Woods for 11 years! It was a really fun experience growing up at camp from when I was two to when I was thirteen. I also did a few years of youth camp. When I was younger I thought, “It would be fun to work at camp,” but I didn’t think much of it until Pine Cove was recruiting on campus at OSU and I thought, “Oh yeah, I wanna do that this summer!” 

What different roles have you held at Pine Cove?
I worked at the Woods for three summers and then worked as a part of Pine Cove City for one summer. So in 2010 and 2011 I was a counselor and lifeguard, then in 2012 I was a senior counselor for City. Then in 2013, I went back to the Woods to be a senior counselor. After graduating, I was a high school youth pastor in Dallas for a year and a half. Shortly after graduation I also got engaged to McKenzie. Then in 2015, three days before camp started, I joined the full-time team at Pine Cove! I was the associate director at the Bluffs for four years and then transitioned to be the director in 2019. 

How did you and your wife meet, and who would you say is better at pickleball?
McKenzie and I met while working on summer staff at the Woods in 2011. She went to Baylor, so basically, our whole dating experience was long distance. I would say I’m better at pickleball! I play pickleball a lot and McKenzie and I played in the pickleball tournaments at camp every week this summer together. One of the reasons we decided to do that was because we knew it would mean we’d get set time together (which sometimes is hard to come by in the summer) and I knew it would take my competitiveness down a bit and allow me to love and encourage her well. 

What’s been your favorite theme night over the years?
One time at the Woods we did “Clue Done It” which was a live version of Clue—it was so fun. That was in 2013! 

How did you get your camp name?
My camp name is Busta Rhyme which boils down to me busting my head open four times (all before fourth grade) and because I like rap music! One of the ways I busted my head was by playing in the forest. I ran into a tree and got a piece of bark stuck into my forehead. The other three times were from playing sports. I definitely had an active childhood!

If you could only listen to one album, only watch one movie, and only watch one TV show for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
The TV show part is easy for me: ”The Office.” For movie choice, I’m stuck between “The Princess Bride” and “Avengers: Endgame,” but I’ll go with “Princess Bride!” I also love the movie “Home Alone,” especially of course during Christmas time. I don’t know if I have a favorite album, but I’ve been listening to a lot of Shane & Shane recently. 

Favorite restaurant in Tyler?
Probably Javi’s! 

Over the years at Pine Cove, what meaningful memory stands out?
I definitely have a lot of those! Watching staff begin to really live differently and take their faith seriously, or getting to baptize staffers is really encouraging and powerful. We also did a wedding at the Bluffs or basically a “vow renewal” for a couple which was really cool. We’ve also had a few instances where we’ve been able to baptize a parent, and then the parent would turn to baptize their child. This, for me, is a great picture of family restoration built solely on the blood and grace of Jesus. 

Do you have a favorite memory from this summer?
I got a hole-in-one playing disc golf! 

What is the funniest skit character you’ve played?
I kind of have an iconic skit character at the Bluffs—his name is Nigel. Nigel is a happy-go-lucky semi-British character. I wear a three-piece pink and white striped seesucker suit with a white wig and some fake teeth. Nigel just brings people together! He gets people on their feet, gets dads laughing, and keeps things moving in the way they need to go. 

What’s something that the Lord has been teaching you recently?
I think through all of the summers I’ve done, something the Lord’s been teaching me is that we are so much better when we aren’t trying to do things on our own. I’m my best self when I’m walking intimately with Him and His word through prayer, Scripture memory, and investing in a community that cares for me. Then, I’m able to lead out of the love that I’ve been given, instead of leading out of anything I could try to muster up on my own strength. 

Posted Sep 26, 2023

Karissa Pitaniello

Content Coordinator

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