Our staff returned today from three days at a CCCA-IL Sectional Conference. It's a time for year-round camp staff to get together. There are sessions offered, networking time and way too much food being served. I met some great people from other camps, some who are doing the same thing that I am while others are in completely different. I did have the opportunity to speak with two camp directors who have been in their roles for quite awhile (8 yrs & 16 yrs). It was good to hear from them what it takes to stay long term at a camp.
There were seven of us (6 men & myself) from Great Oaks who traveled together to the conference. I wasn't really sure what to expect. Obviously I haven't been on staff for too long and I didn't know any of them too well. I was pleased when we hung out together a lot. We ate nearly every meal together. And in between some sessions, we sat and talked. It was a good bonding time for us, I think. I began to see how I can fit in with this staff. It is an interesting situation working with all men. They interact differently than women do but growing up with brothers helped me out. I really enjoy the staff. We can laugh and have fun together while at other times we can be serious. We had a staff meeting last night that was helpful for all of us as the camp goes through some transitions. It's helpful to have times where staff can air their concerns & questions and talk honestly about what they are feeling. We had that type of meeting and it was refreshing.
I learned a lot at the conference. I attended sessions on staff training, camp nursing standards, marketing and experiential learning. Our general sessions were a time of corporate worship through song and then Pastor Joe would speak to us. I'm so glad that I could attend this conference. I've taken a lot away from it and in the days/weeks/months to come, I believe it will be very beneficial to my preparations for summer ministry and beyond.