Scenic view of trees at camp

Staff Profile: Derrick “Kenya Dig It” Simiyu

by Jenny Sowers Rutland


Meet Derrick Simiyu, the chicken fried rice-eating, music-loving, Ranch Men’s Director! Read about how he likes to relax on a day off, what he’s reading, and what he’s excited about. We hope you enjoy getting to know him a little bit better, including what song he would sing if there was ever a Pine Cove karaoke night! (Actually, should we make that a thing?)

How long have you been at Pine Cove and what is your current role?
I started in 2017 as a counselor, followed by senior counselor, and then I was the program director at the Towers. I joined the full-time staff in 2020 and now I am the Men’s Director at the Ranch.


What is your camp name and how did you get it?
Kenya Dig It. I had a very short name game. They just asked me the basic questions like Where are you from, What do you like to do for fun, and Tell a story. I was born in Kenya, but now live in Houston, and I love to play volleyball. And almost immediately someone sold the name and that was it!

What book(s) are you currently reading?
I am re-reading The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Tim Keller. I am also reading Brisingr, which is in the Eragon Series. And then as a staff we are reading Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders.


If you were going to sing a song for a Pine Cove karaoke night, what would it be?
Probably “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. And I would sing both parts.

What are your favorite ways to relax on a day off?
I enjoy watching movies. I am a big movie guy. I enjoy reading as well. Taking a walk is also really restful for me. And of course, taking a nap.

If you could go to dinner with one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
I think right now my answer would probably be Judas. I don’t know why he popped into my mind right away? I would just talk to him and ask him about his thought process. I don’t know how it would end up, but it would be an interesting conversation.


What is your favorite meal to cook or eat?
For sure my favorite meal to eat is chicken fried rice. My favorite to make is stir fry.

What is a characteristic of God you’ve learned the most about while working at Pine Cove?
I would say the biggest one for me, especially coming into Pine Cove, was just learning that God is a Father, a really good Father, to us. He gives me an identity and gives me a new name. I came in with insecurity, but He gave me security.


What is one dream, big or small, you have for your life?
I love music, so the dream would be to open up a concert venue of some sort, and be able to have concerts in the venue. I am not musically inclined at all, but I would love to host music or have people come over for music or something like that. That seems really fun.

What are you excited about right now?
I am just really excited about the Lord and this summer. There is so much He is teaching me right now. I am just so excited to see people come to know the Lord for the first time or for people to hear about Him for the hundredth time. Just to see people come in and have their lives transformed by Him, I am just pumped for that and to see what’s to come.

Posted Jul 6, 2022

Jenny Sowers Rutland

Former Staff

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