by Jenny Sowers Posted Nov 9, 2021
JD “Ramses is the Bus” Moore is one of Pine Cove’s newest camp directors. While he grew up as a youth camper coming to camp with his family, he was never on summer staff before joining the full-time team. JD has a degree in architecture, turned a school bus into a tiny home, and played football at LSU before a stint in the NFL, so he definitely brings a unique set of skills and experiences to his team at the Ranch! We hope you enjoy learning about the down-to-earth, humble, and fun director that is JD.
What is your current position and what is your history with Pine Cove?
Currently I am the Ranch Camp Director. Before that I was the Men’s Director at the Ranch starting in February of 2020. I never spent any years on summer staff, but Alli, my wife, worked at the Woods for four summers in college. I was a family camper from infancy until I graduated high school. I was also a youth camper from Towers through Shores, and I had two siblings that were on full-time staff at Pine Cove. When I was at my brother Michael’s wedding, I ran into Craig Langemeier and Reed Livesay and decided that I should have Pine Cove on my radar. I interviewed and then God just really opened a door.
What is your camp name and how did you get it?
My camp name is “Ramses is the Bus.” They asked me what my favorite movie to quote is, and it’s Nacho Libre. And to prove it, I had to sing a song that Nacho Libre sings. Conor “Flow” Barry sold my name, so you can probably imagine how it went. [In the movie], Nacho Libre wants to become like Ramses and his famous line is “Ramses is the best.” So the crowd combined that with how Alli and I converted a bus into a tiny house school bus. We actually lived on this bus until we bought a house when we first moved to Tyler.
What is your favorite memory from the bus?
The day after we finished renovating the bus we hit the road out west. We went through Colorado and Utah, and basically from Halloween to Thanksgiving we were camping and out seeing national parks. That was one of the many highlights and probably the most “off-the-grid” experience we had. We look back on that with fond memories.
Tell me about your family.
Alli and I have been married since 2018. We both grew up in Ruston, Louisiana, and so we have known each other for a long time. We dated while in college at LSU and got married my senior year. And then on April 4, 2020 we had Lily, our precious daughter. Her CQ word would be “joyful!” She has just never met a stranger, and it’s nothing we have done as parents, it’s just who she is.
What football teams have you played for, and what is a favorite memory from those days?
I played college football at LSU for five years as a fullback and then was an undrafted free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs for one year in the NFL. At LSU, my favorite memory is probably my senior night, which was my last home game in Tiger Stadium, and I got to score a touchdown against Texas A&M while my whole family was there on Thanksgiving Day. It was a really gracious moment of the Lord to allow me to finish out my career like that.
What kind of lessons did you learn from playing football?
To put it in a nutshell, the big lesson the Lord taught me in football was really how to do sports God’s way. And now it’s become how to do life God’s way. This comes from the combination of two verses. First is 1 Corinthians 10:31 and how everything we do in life is not for my glory but for God’s glory. And the second one is Colossians 3:23 and realizing that being a servant of the King, and a kingdom ambassador, does not mean I get to take the easy route, but I can glorify Him by working at it with all my heart. To put it in Pine Cove terms, it’s bumping the lamp and doing all things with excellence and grit, and this allows my heavenly Father to gain the glory from what I am doing.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A couple things. I really looked up to LSU football players, and as a kid, that was always the backyard football dream. It’s still just wild to me that that actually happened. The other thing was to be an architect. As a kid I got a little kid architecture kit for Christmas and always loved to draw. I always assumed my interest would change, but then it didn’t, so that’s what I ended up majoring in.
What is the silliest or funniest thing you’ve witnessed at camp?
Gosh, it was so fun this summer! During one week, the full-time team took over the skit. We told our program director that he had the week off from the skit and that we would just do all of it. Ellie, our women’s director, full on slapped Caleb “Wheelin’ N Dealin’” Carter. Caleb said, ‘Hey we gotta go all out, there is no theatre slapping.’ He does nothing half-hearted. It was hilarious!
What is your ideal day off from camp?
Pretty simple actually. On my day off, I just sleep in a little bit, which really means like 8am because we have a kid, then hang with Alli and Lily in the morning. Then we try to have one outing of the day to a park or playground or Target or any of the other fine Tyler establishments. At some point, I mow the grass, which is honestly a really therapeutic thing where I can just see the progress happening and it’s not super mindful. In the summer we tried to stay plugged in with our community, so we were able to go to our community group because it happened to fall on my day off. We just try to engage in normal life rhythms.
What have you learned about God through working at camp?
So many things. But the first thing that comes to mind is His provision. In every season of this job, it’s so humbling and cool to see God provide. During the summer, to come alongside staff and see God provide energy or opportunities to minister is just so cool. Even in recruiting season, reminding ourselves that the staff we need, God will provide for us. I am continually humbled and reminded that I am not the provider for myself or Pine Cove or even for my family. Just seeing Him as provider is something I’ve been learning a lot about.