Written by Rebecca Lawson;
On the weekend of February 8th our visitors at Camp woke up to a beautiful white dusting of snow that began as small flurries, but soon turned into large flakes that covered every inch of Camp! The Highland Day Camp Staff were among the ones lucky enough to be in attendance that weekend, for their first annual staff retreat.
This retreat was led by Lydia Churillo who is the current Highland Day Camp Director, and Michael Watanabe, our Assistant Day Camp Director. They recognized the need for their staff to reconnect and spend some quality time together at Camp. They brought up previous and potential staff members for a weekend away. The weekend was created for all of their staff to have the opportunity to fully experience Camp together, and see how they could grow together and encourage each other as a group.
Their theme for the weekend was: Reconnect. They dove into scripture and worked through what they can do to stay connected to the vine in Christ and bear fruit as they grow. They looked at what it means to be the body of Christ and thought of ways they could improve within their staff, supporting and encouraging each other as they need it. They developed tangible ways they could be of service to one another and talked through practical ways to apply this scripture to their everyday walk.
In John 15:4-5 Jesus says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
In addition to their sessions, the staff had special supplies that made their weekend even more unforgettable. With nearly 5 inches of snow, they were in for a treat as they saw Camp turned into a winter wonderland. They spent much of the day enjoying the beauty of camp, and the fun that came with the snow. They built snowmen and igloos, climbed the rock wall and Jacob’s Ladder, and even had a game of HuTu TuTu in the snow.
This weekend was filled with a joyous spirit, and while the snow was special, the people were what made it truly remarkable. These staff members were open and vulnerable with each other from the second they arrived at Camp. They talked through their highs and lows of the past semester, their areas of growth and their areas of struggle, and they recognized the need and desire for community and accountability with each other. They reconnected instantly, and it felt as if their family was back together.
This whirlwind of a weekend was filled with joy, lots of snow, laughter, memories, and so many moments where the Lord was seen at work with this staff. Their time together was truly instrumental in reconnecting this group of staff members, and God’s hand was seen at work all throughout their time. They all left camp ready and excited to stay connected as the summer quickly approaches. This weekend was the first of what will now be an Annual Highland Day Camp Staff Retreat, and the beginning of monthly hangouts to keep the staff connected.