Leadership Weekend 2016
Editor’s Note: The following blog post was written by two of our summer leadership staff members. First up, Jordan James shares about her weekend at the East Texas Leadership weekend that took place April 8-10.
“Pine Cove exists to be used by God to transform the lives of people for His purposes and His glory!”
Sitting on the Shores dock as an overflow camper in 2010, I found this to be true and real as the Lord transformed my life at Pine Cove to come to really know Him.
Six years later, I found myself driving into Pine Cove Ranch once again to partake in this mission through Leadership weekend. As our car full of Pine Cove Shores staff rolled along the all-too-familiar Pine Cove roads, we were met by some of the most welcoming faces: directors, full-time staffers, and friends from all camps. Similar to a family reunion, Leadership Weekend brings a number of personalities, people you may have not seen for years, and tons of laughter.
In our first session, Dutch reminded of us of Pine Cove’s mission, which was a central theme throughout the weekend. He claimed that Pine Cove could be summed up as three things: “Christ-centered, others-focused, and seriously fun.”
Christ-centered. Heading into this summer, a lot of time is spent in prayer. Prayer is one of the most beautiful things we can partake in as His children and one of the most powerful things. Throughout the weekend, we talked about the importance of Christ in the midst of leadership, and that ultimately he is the greatest spiritual leader to follow. The gospel was kept at the forefront and mentioned in every seminar and crazy activity we took part in. Without Christ, camp is nothing but a pointless, good time that will come to an end.
Others-focused. As a staffer at Pine Cove, your ringing anthem is “It’s not about me.” You will rarely go a day without hearing that or being reminded that working at camp isn’t about you, which humbles you very quickly. We were reminded that the calling of leadership is ultimately about serving. We had the blessing of hearing Dr. Bill Mackenzie, the founder of Pine Cove himself talk about the importance of “living for what outlives you.” Ultimately as staff, our goal is that we may meet campers and other staffers where they are at so that they can ultimately come to know Christ, who loves them for who they are and where they are at right now. None of our names will mean much after this, but we get to live for something that outlives us on earth: Christ.
Seriously Fun. This is somewhere Pine Cove never falls short. Where else can you watch your boss (struggle) driving through the crowd on a golf cart, wearing fake-adult braces, asking questions about old Swedish political leaders, and doing goofy dances moves all while holding a liter of coke and chips for “liter-chip” weekend (say it with an accent, promise it sounds like leadership)? Yes, this actually happened over the weekend, and no, it’s not outside the Pine Cove norm to laugh a lot. This is the beauty of Pine Cove. As a group of people whose lives have been transformed by the Lord, we get the joyful opportunity to do absolutely ridiculous things to break down walls so that others’ lives may be transformed for His purposes and His glory!
During this weekend, I got to see the mission of Pine Cove at work even as we learned about serious topics concerning leadership and training, were pointed to Christ in each thing we did, and ultimately had a stinkin’ lot of fun. I can’t tell you enough how excited I am to get to serve alongside other people who are desire to live for Christ’s glory on the leadership team at the Shores where my life was completely transformed six years ago. As we prepare for the two weeks of staff training and 11 weeks of camp, I ask that you would join our team in praying this verse for this summer’s leadership and Pine Cove as a whole heading into this summer:
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58
Jordan “French Roast” James
Shores Senior Counselor
Next up, Brandon Green shares about his experiences at Leadership Weekend in Central Texas.
The weekend of April 1st, I got to travel down to Columbus, Texas for Pine Cove’s Central Texas Leadership Weekend. This was the first time that the leadership teams for Outback, Silverado, Crier Creek, and Camp in the City were able to come together and cast a vision for Summer 2016. I’d been looking forward to this weekend all semester, even though I had the nagging doubt that it was all just an elaborate April Fool’s joke put together by Craig Langemeier, Jared Schuler, and the other full-time staffers. Luckily it wasn’t a prank, although there ended up being plenty of pies in the face and eggs getting smashed on people’s heads. Apparently that’s pretty normal at Pine Cove. Stays true to the mantra: Pine Cove is Christ-centered, others-focused, and seriously fun.
Throughout the weekend, during all the leadership sessions, quirky games, and great meals (Can I brag about how good Pine Cove food is? Editor’s Note: Yes.), one theme kept on repeating itself: “Watch as I…”
Philippians 4:9 says, “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” As leaders, we’re being placed in a position where others are going to imitate us, whether that’s joining us in camp cheers, Club dance moves, or waking up and getting into the Word. As Christians, we want God to get the praise and recognition from that imitation. That’s no small task! In fact, the thought that EVERY action of mine should be worthy of imitation makes me realize just how unworthy I am to be chosen as a leader.
But that’s what makes God’s love so powerful! Knowing all of the times that we would mess up and stray away, He chooses us to be His hands and feet this summer. Our experiences and struggles allow us to show His grace, our pain and hurt allow us to share His goodness, and our joy and laughter allow others to know that God is good.
So, I can’t wait for this summer to get here! For campers and families to come riding through the gauntlet of jumping counselors, for skit characters to go running through the dining hall, and for campers to try to beat counselors in… well, everything! Because I know when any of that is imitated, the good news of Jesus Christ and the joy His salvation brings is going to be made known.
Feel free to follow us this summer as we follow Christ. “Watch as I…”
Brandon “Slider-Man” Green
Crier Creek Program Director