What: I am writing to request your consideration and or assistance by being part of our 2021 summer staff.
You may already know that last year April 1, 2020 was my first day on the Job as Executive Director for Camp Marshall. While there is something to smile about when you consider my "start date" there was nothing to smile about regarding the news of COVID and the impact it would soon play on summer camp.
Early on it was clear that we needed a "plan B" and we chose to shutter "in person" camp and use a very small team to have an "online presence" for our campers and their families. The good news here was we did succeed in our efforts to have an online presence despite the challenges we faced with inadequate wi-fi speeds.
This season of 2021 we will be making a step forward towards a "normal season" with the expansion of Family Camps. This will help us navigate the challenges of social distancing in cabins, restrooms and the dining hall. As in 2020 preserving the safety of our staff and guests is a "principled" decision not an easy one. This plan, approved by Lake County Health Dept., allows us to move through the summer with little or no chance of being shut down.
So What: When you do anything differently there is always an opportunity to see things from a new perspective. That perspective is what I would like you to consider joining me in this summer of 2021. All of our work this year will be setting the stage for 2022. Our work with the parents will offer opportunities for conversations about camping ministry. What can we learn from our parents and campers in a family camp setting that might impact our work in 2022.
Staff who are hired and participate this season will have a front row seat in this work and have an opportunity to begin conversations about our 2022 season. My sense is God is going to do a lot of work here this summer. If you have a passion for camp ministry and are interested in where God may be calling us in the future I would strongly encourage you to apply to be a part of our summer season.
Starting up in 2022 will not be "easy" having missed two consecutive years of programming. We will need, by next spring, to have some in person youth retreats, and a strong marketing effort to fill camper beds. Once here, we will need a well trained, committed staff to receive many of our campers for their "first day" of camp.
Now What: Overall, I am seeking 10 - 12 team members who will be full time for the season. After that, there is a path in the online application to apply to be a volunteer for one or more weeks. A third path we will be opening soon will be for hourly staff to help in specialized areas such as the waterfront or our kitchen. To be prepared for 2022 we MUST grow our staff. Priority for housing will go to persons hired for the full season. Then, as space allows we will squeeze in as many volunteers as we can.
A note about vaccinations: All staff will need to be fully vaccinated for the summer. This should be possible as the work here requires "congregate" living which is recognized by the state of Montana as 1c priority. This should be possible to accomplish. As of April 1, all Montanan's will be eligible to receive the vaccine.
Why this is important: The staff house will be the primary building used by all of the summer staff. If we receive volunteer staff during the summer they will also need to share that facility. To do this we need to stand in the gap for each other and make space available for everyone who is called to share in this ministry.
With an eye "fixed" on 2022 we must cultivate relationships among the staff that will need to grow by twice the size in a single year. If we don't our work will be complicated in 2022.
If you are not sure about this summer begin with prayer. If you feel called (even to a single week) act. Fill out an application today. Let God's voice speak through you this summer.
If you can't make it in 2021:
Please pray for our camper families, our staff and the development of our vision for youth ministries moving forward.
Please consider recommending someone you know. My experience has been that the best referrals come from former or current staff members.
If you have questions and or concerns, please e-mail me. (normally I would list my cell phone number here - however in the next couple of days I am getting a new phone number). The best way to reach me is by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Yours in Christ,