What a wonderful start of camp we had on Sunday! It was so nice to see many old friends and welcome new ones to Rockmont. I joked with the staff today that I couldn’t walk 10 feet on opening day without running into a friend that I had worked with before at camp, or been to their home, or shared a meal together. It reminded us that we are all extended family and share common ground. So, thank you for being family, and I am grateful for the trust you extend to us each summer.
The campers were up and busy as soon as the sun rose this morning. After breakfast yesterday we enjoyed singing some camp songs, learned how to clean the cabin, went to four different skills and had a morning and afternoon Free Swim. We are very proud of the work your boys and young men are doing at Rockmont. I spoke with each of the tribes and reminded them that new challenges require courage and the importance of being able to say YES to new opportunities.
Yes to friendship, Yes to new food, Yes to new learning new skills, Yes to being away from home, and Yes to making a new home for two weeks.
During the afternoon I had the opportunity to give a tour to a family from Oregon. It’s always a privilege to share our mission with a new family and especially when it’s happening right in front of you. We were witnesses to many young men doing new activities. We saw Davis saying Yes to outdoor skills, Ben’s Yes to blacksmithing, Kaden’s Yes to goal-setting with his counselor, and Evan’s Yes to a new friend.
Speaking of Yes… half of the campers are saying yes to sleeping in the woods tonight. The Sycamores are off to Pisgah National Forest for a two night campout. The Hickory and Hemlock tribes will be camping on Rockmont’s mountain for two nights. There will be plenty of s’mores eaten and stories told around the campfire this summer.
Below is an excerpt from a Theodore Roosevelt speech that our Tribal Directors are memorizing. It speaks to fine work that each of our campers are doing. Going to camp is not only about adventure and having a ton of fun. It’s also about cultivating an inner strength that allows our young men to say Yes to challenge and be part of a bigger story.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” T.R.
I hope that each of you had safe travels after leaving camp. Keep us in your prayers and have a great two weeks….We certainly will do so here!
Monday’s Scripture: John 4:46-54
Story: Jesus Heals a Royal Official’s Son
+ Where do you see yourself in the story?
+ What’s the good news?