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Up, Down, and Across the Peninsula: Our Travels in Florida

Monday, October 3rd 2011

Just as the cooler Fall temperatures were hitting Rockmont, Shawn and Matt took off to Florida. We reported earlier on the success of our first two shows at the Danielson home in Tampa and the Hutto home in Jacksonville. From there, Shawn met up with Dan and headed to Orlando and caught up with the Gernert family. Camper John-Reed was pumped about sharing the Rockmont story, helping to guide much of the discussion that followed the video presentation. The Orlando visit was also an exciting reunion in that John-Reed’s father had also been a camper at Rockmont, and former Tribal Director JJ Litchford dropped by to help out. Together, there was over 60 years of Rockmont experience in the one living room.

Matt drove on down to Ormond Beach, which has become one of his favorite places to visit for Rockmont shows. For its size (~ 38,000 people), the Rockmont community is large, but what makes it special is how tight-knit they are. While the Merrell family hosted for the 3rd consecutive year, lots of veteran camper families came over and brought friends of their own, and spoke openly about the impact a summer at Rockmont had on their sons. At our first Father-Son weekend this past April, we had 6 families just from Ormond Beach! So it was great to be able to re-connect with them and continue the conversations about raising young men in a Godly way.

From Orlando, Shawn made his way to Palm Beach Gardens to join the Schutz family for a show where camper Wilson Goins was a huge help, working to convince some of his classmates to join him next summer at camp. We were also joined by Ryan and Trey Fogg, brothers of Ashley Schutz and former Rockmont campers and staff members themselves. Florida’s Rockmont alumni were really coming out in force to support us!

Shawn and Matt then reconnected in Lutz at the Pitts home, but not without traveling through a torrential down pour. You might ask, what do we do when it rains? Campers know the reply, “We get wet!” The rain didn’t stop the Burns family from showing up, nor it did stop others in Lutz from turning out to learn more about Rockmont. As a newer Rockmont family, the Pitts have been quite involved with camp with Stephanie Pitts serving on our medical team last summer as a Camp Nurse!

After Lutz, Shawn crossed the state, passing by all the orange groves in central Florida, back to Tampa where he had begun. Campers Max and Pete St. John had been eagerly awaiting Rockmont’s visit, and they had gathered a whole neighborhood of veteran campers and prospects to check out Rockmont. Tampa is beginning to feel like a second home for us as we are able to reconnect with so many Rockmonters in a single neighborhood. What a joy to visit again!

The show that wrapped up this Florida tour was hosted by the Murphy family in West Palm Beach. The Murphy’s were joined by two other Rockmont families, the Keens and Mahoneys to help us tell others in Palm Beach county about our work in male development. We are so grateful for all the Rockmont families that have come out to support our Fall home showings, whether hosts or visitors at the shows. They put a lot of work into not only putting the shows together, but also sharing Rockmont with others in their hometowns throughout the year. Thanks, Florida, for hosting us these 2 weeks. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

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by: Fun games on October 23rd, 2011

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