by Jenny Sowers
Conor “Flowstopper” Barry has been a household Pine Cove name for the last several years. You may know him from his start at the Woods or maybe from his Purina Dog Chow campaign at the Towers. Or you may soon get to know him as he starts his next Pine Cove chapter at the Ridge. No matter how you know him, to know him is to love him! Enjoy learning more about the newest Ridge camp director.
How long have you been working at Pine Cove and in what positions?
This will be my ninth summer at Pine Cove. I served two summers at the Woods in 2014 and 2015, as a counselor and senior counselor, where I worked on the dream team! Then I was the men’s director at the Towers from 2016 to 2021, and now I am the Ridge director.
What are you most excited about in being the Ridge director?
I think a big passion that God is currently laying on my heart, and what I could bring to the Ridge, is spiritual formation: who God is making us into and how He is shaping us. I have been learning a lot about that in my own life, so I am excited to do that with college staff, and now with high schoolers. Becoming more like Jesus, not for our own sake, but for the sake of other people. And for high schoolers to be able to do that while they are at such a pivotal point in their lives just sounds really exciting.
How did you and your wife, Ali “Clone Dog Millionaire,” meet?
It’s a fun Pine Cove plug because we met at the Towers in 2016, which is when we really got to know each other. She was on summer staff from 2016 to 2018 and we really became friends in 2017 when she was a senior counselor. Then in 2018, she was our assistant program director, so I just got to work with her more in that role. It is just one of those things where I thought she was awesome and I was interested in her, but thought, ‘Oh it’s a summer thing, it will go away.’
In 2019, she came to visit some friends and we ended up talking in the dining hall for like an hour after a staff meeting and that’s when I was like, ‘Okay, this isn’t going to go away is it?’ Funny enough, I was going to a Texas A&M bowl game in Houston and I kept thinking if I had an organic opportunity to ask her out, I was going to. So it was finally a combo of A&M football and Pine Cove that made it happen. Little did I know that she had a crush on me for three years. Then we started dating and got engaged in 2020. Married in April 2021. Then we got to be back at the Towers together in summer 2021. It’s truly a story of ‘Don’t give up on your camp crush dreams.’ You never know what can happen!
What is your ideal day off from camp?
For sure some really good coffee is happening at some point. Usually, I like watching a movie, either a comedy or a thriller. I like to go for a walk and enjoy the weather before it gets too warm. I like to decompress by walking and listening to a podcast. There’s also probably a nap in there somewhere and then most likely a board game.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an astronaut and a banker all in one. I wanted to explore outer space and I kind of geek out on the vastness of it and God’s beauty in it. The banker piece is as a kid I would always say, ‘I want to be a banker because that’s where the money’s at…’ so maybe I actually wanted to be a standup comedian. Oh, and there was also the Batman thing, I always thought he was awesome.
What is one character quality of God that you’ve learned the most about while working at camp?
I think God’s redemptive power has been one, and I think it’s kind of cool how I’ve seen that at the Woods and at the Towers. At the Woods, I saw it in families and parents who were coming in and just really hurting and walking through difficult things, but there was something in them that they knew they needed Jesus. To watch God bring healing to families and how God honored that simple need of them knowing they needed Jesus. Then at the Towers, campers who were homesick or just having a tough week, God used those things to redeem them and show them that God is a dwelling place for them. It’s all a picture of Romans 8:28 and how all things can be used by God in his power and wisdom to bring forth life and healing.
What is your favorite meal to eat or cook?
I’m a big Tex Mex guy. Love Tex Mex. Ali makes these really easy shredded chicken tacos that are delicious. Love some salsa, love some queso. If I ate Tex Mex every day of the week, I would literally not be disappointed.
What is the next trip you hope to take?
We just visited California for the first time and it was awesome. I would love to hit up more of the west coast, maybe Portland, Oregon. There is a lot of beauty up there that I haven’t seen and some of the best coffee in the world is roasted there.
Who is one Pine Cove staffer that has really impacted your life?
Andrew “Get Smart” Boshell comes immediately to mind. He and I are so different in the way we see life and process problems. I am just so grateful I got to work underneath him and alongside him. It just brings to mind how the variety of the body is so beautiful and how it all works together. We are so different, but we have learned so much from each other and have such a good and fun friendship. Surround yourself with people who aren’t like you because there is so much to learn from people. And Chris “Broflex” Boddy has really been like a spiritual father to me.
Posted May 5, 2022