I am packing up my car with stuff I will need for camp because , the groups are starting to stream in, requiring two of us to live here, and staff training is happening really soon, and I can no longer rely on commuting back and forth from Anderson Island (where I live) by boat. This summer, my residence is the Garden Cabin. I like it - well mostly - it is a long walk to the bath house.
Every staff member has their favorite tools that they bring to camp. For some - a favorite devotional book. Maybe for others - a "bag of tricks" - games and such to entertain and amuse any group. Some bring the things that give them comfort and the willingness to share feelings with all they encounter. Some bring teddy bears. Some bring the perfect costumes for all occasions (I don't know how they do it). Each leader has discovered her or his unique tool, for the toolbox, to make camp a special place unlike any other.
For me - it is my 35 year old 12-string guitar that I bought new after I graduated from college. Does that give you an idea how old I am? This guitar and I have been everywhere, singing at literally thousands of campfires, on quiet front porches, with friends or often alone. I think music is a powerful tool and I believe that people who sing together - the old songs, as well as the new - can rejoice in so many ways. Although I will pick up a banjo, or ukulele, or play the piano when needed - my guitar is the tool that works best for me to reach others to share the camp spirit.
Hopefully you can come to camp this summer and sing with me. I know all the old "hippy" songs, the ones I made up myself, praise songs best sung at camp, and the silly ones meant for kids. I may think my fingers are clever and my mind is sharp to remember all this - but maybe it is my old guitar on autopilot, making the moment special.
Imagine - a parent receiving a letter that goes sort-of kind-of like this....
Greetings from Sound View Camp!
Your child has been given an opportunity to attend Camp Sound View - for free. This is a resident (sleep away) camp in Longbranch, WA. This opportunity is compliments of your local Presbyterian church.
While at camp, your child can enjoy these activities:
- ARTS & CRAFTS
- CANOEING & KAYAKING
- SWIMMING IN THE SOUND
- SPORTS & GAMES
- SKITS & SONGS
- MORNING CHAPEL
- HIKES, GARDENING & NATURECRAFT
- ROPES COURSE
- UKULELE LESSONS
- CRAZY AND FUN EVENING PROGRAMS
- GOOD FOOD
- ENTHUSIASTIC LEADERS
- MINI FARMING & ANIMAL CARE
- FUN! (AND MORE FUN)
Please call Kurt at Sound View Camp - 253-884-9202 - (Extension 1) to get your child signed up. Or, if you have Internet access, you can do it online with the sponsorship code. If you need help with transportation to and from camp, please call.
We are looking forward to serving your child at camp.
Now imagine that parent:
- Maybe struggling to stay afloat
- Maybe homeless
- Maybe needing some quality, unhindered time to look for work
- Maybe a refugee
- and trying to be a good parent nonetheless ....
.... and all of a sudden, a chance presents itself for their child to enjoy a wonderful experience away from home, fed, taken care of, in a positive Christian environment. Wow! Isn't this what we are all about as the Outdoor Ministry for the Presbytery of Olympia?
A healthy camp is one that is diverse - full of kids of ALL socioeconomic means who want to have safe, positive experiences in the out-of-doors with caring leaders. $375 sends a kid to camp for a week and at the same time makes a parent a hero.
Please consider donating to our scholarship fund so more of these letters can be distributed.
I think this poem is wonderful. What do you think?
I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care;
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
I would be friend of all—the foe, the friendless;
I would be giving, and forget the gift;
I would be humble, for I know my weakness;
I would look up, and laugh, and love, and lift.
For years, the YMCA has used it as part of their Christian "Raggers" program but the poem is much older - dating back to 1906.
The last line is my favorite because I think that it embodies everything we hope to see in a camp leader and what we desire to pass on to each camper.
I would look up - eyes to heaven.
And laugh - because being joyful is God-given.
And love - because we are compelled to do this.
And lift - because it is the right thing to do (no exceptions).
1 Timothy 4:12
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Go ahead - say it three times really fast! Can you canoe? Can you canoe? Can you canoe?
At Camp Sound View, we are blessed to be located on an amazing sandy beach on Puget Sound. Part of our property is this huge sandbar (quite a navigational hazard at low tide) but a wonderful place to explore at low tide and a perfect starting place for canoeing adventures.
Let's refer to the map, shall we?
- Drayton Passage. This separates the Key Peninsula from Anderson and McNeil Islands. It is navigable and occasionally larger boats and tugs can be seen.
- The Devil's Head. Not sure why it is called this. Maybe it was a bit tricky and shallow when sailing vessels and underpowered steamers (Mosquito Fleet) plied the area. It is a great short destination for canoe adventures from camp.
- Filucy Bay. A nice cove with a marina to explore. 100 years ago, it was destined to be quite a tourist place but that fizzled out. There is not much in downtown Longbranch anymore but a nice canoe trip nonetheless.
- Lakebay. For a longer trip, getting to Lakebay will reward you with a real store and restaurant.
- Oro Bay. On Anderson Island - this is one of the destinations for the Expedition campers.
- Eagle Island. This is a state park and a worthy mid-range trip when the weather is nice. The island is fun to explore but keep a close eye on the tides, the wind, and the weather.
- Nisqually. This is a wildlife sanctuary. Birds abound in this area. Not a beginner trip. Maybe next year with longer range sea kayaks.
- Andy's Marine Park. On Anderson Island. A great place to have lunch and explore. There is a good nature trail that leads up away from the rocky beach.
- YMCA Camp Coleman. A hearty trip for maybe teens, LITs, with a chance to learn from seeing another camp.
So you see that with such a remarkable location, and summer being a fantastic time to play and explore, we take canoeing very seriously at Sound View. The canoe, for the Native Americans and the early pioneers, was the perfect mode of travel - stable, able to carry cargo, easy to get into tight places, easy to build and maintain. Our area is so rich in history it really comes alive while paddling a canoe.
Can you canoe? Come to Sound View and learn!
100 - the number of acres at Camp Sound View. What is pretty remarkable is that most of our site is woods, trails, and beach, free of human-built structures - where one can appreciate the quietness of God's creation.
64 - the number of youth campers for a full session. Think about it - where many camps are "packin' 'em in", maximizing space to build more camper cabins, and implementing elaborate ways to schedule and staff camper activities, Sound View chooses to keep our traditional youth camp just that - traditional/small/intimate. We have 4 cabins of girls and 4 cabins of boys. We don't struggle with scheduling and we have the flexibility to adapt based on the weather, or the specific needs of our campers.
16 - the number of expedition campers. This summer, the destination is Anderson Island for two overnights and the group quest to circumnavigate the island and return to a hero's welcome by the 64 cheering youth campers. While on the island, a chance to explore, swim in freshwater lakes, and learn of the Island history.
24 - the number of mini-campers per session. We look forward to giving these young people an awesome first-time camp experience loaded with activities, great leaders, games, and campfires. Their domain is the famous longhouse. Campy - but comfortable.
Now that you know the numbers (almost an acre of land per camper) - make sure your kids and friend's kids don't miss out of an amazing summer. Sign up for camp soon!
FINALLY! Sunshine, dry weather, and summer is on the horizon.
Are you looking for a place to go this weekend? Here are two FREE opportunities for families/adult individuals to enjoy predicted good weather at camp while helping us out at the same time.
SATURDAY (May 27) - Waterfront Clean-Up and Fun Day. There is so much to do now that the waterfront has finally shed the rainy season blues. Get a fire going to burn windfall, weed-whack everything, clean and test canoes/kayaks (FUN), build some beach boat racks (carpenters needed), and a myriad of other little projects taking advantage of a nice day. Bring a picnic lunch. We will have a barbecue grill going (bring your own entree) and a lifeguard on duty so the kids can swim and play on the beach. PLEASE - if you come, bring a working grass trimmer. If you want to stay the night then please email me and I can arrange a cabin (we would love to have you for campfire, songs, and s'mores).
SUNDAY (May 28) - Open House - 2:00 to 6:00 PM. Come, take a #SoundViewSunday drive to check out camp and take a self-guided tour while playing disc golf. The staff will be on hand to answer any questions you have about camp.
I am so excited about the summer and the way Sound View is shaping up in preparation for it. I look forward to serving you and your kids as they grow on mind, body, and spirit. Thanks so much for supporting camp.
I have had some interesting experiences over the years creating unusual games for camp. This is the latest - the LARPing rules for our new game "By the Lion's Mane", set in fictional Narnia. Read - Enjoy - Get Excited.
BY THE LION’S MANE
Rules (modified 5/17/2017)
First and foremost By the Lion’s Mane is an event of LARPing fun designed specifically to escape the everyday rigors of modern life. It is aimed primarily at role playing, Christian faith building, and team spirit and we have deliberately kept the combat system basic and easy to use for everyone. It is a youth friendly LARP System.
By the Lion’s Mane is a Live Action Role-Playing, Live Role Playing ( LARP/LRP) game set in the fantasy world of Narnia.
The priority for Sound View Camp is to give everybody the opportunity to fully participate in a LARP event and interact with others as part of a team. By the Lion’s Mane events are ideal for both veteran live action role players and for those that are new to the concept. They also provide friends of current role-players the chance to see what LARP is all about and become as little or greatly involved as they wish.
Everything has been simplified to allow young people to turn up and commence play with minimal preparation.
Each event is designed as a stand-alone adventure that has its own aims and objectives, but is also an integral part of an ongoing history with a Christian focus, where characters actions will have an impact on future events. Therefore it does not matter whether you have been to a By the Lion’s Mane LARP event before everybody is just as important, no one player has an advantage over another and everybody will be able to contribute to the event.
By the Lion’s Mane uses a live combat system. This means that all participants agree to being hit by and hitting others with live role-playing weapons that have passed a safety check by Sound View Camp staff.
The character is the focus of By the Lion’s Mane and generally has a personality that is separate from your own (although this is not essential). This personality can either be developed before play or during events, allowing Narnia to shape your character.
To start the ball rolling, the first thing you should consider is what name you are going to give your character. This can be something from your favourite fantasy book or from a movie or entirely made up. Do not worry too much about this if it is your first ever LARP event, you can always change it once you have seen how our weekends work and have a better idea about how to play your character.
Every live role playing character should have a personal background or history. This is not essential for your first LARP event or even your second or future events. As you come to more of our live role playing weekends you will begin to develop your character and a history and background will emerge. It is easier to not have a background and create it as you go along than to try and start with one that doesn't quite fit and then have to change it if you decide you aren't happy with how it is progressing.
When you are happy with how you want the characters past to be revealed the starting point for this process is often to invent a background for the character, which can be anything from a few lines of personal history or a detailed brief. The types of things normally included in a background are your relationship to other group members as well as what your character's aims and objectives are (although clearly these may change).
The next step of character generation is to choose the live role playing race that you wish your character to be part of. There are two generic races within Narnia which your character should form a part of; Human (Son of Adam/Daughter of Eve), or Talking Beast.
Human - No explanation should be required to play a human. If in doubt we will of course explain!
Talking Beast - Choose an animal of your liking.
The talking beasts have certain LARP physical representations (requirements, which players should observe for authenticity). This includes the application of make-up to change skin color or applying certain prosthetics (e.g. ears, tails, horns). What method you use to act as a phys-rep for your character is up to you, but you should produce something to clearly identify what race your character is – if in doubt, play a human!
The costume is another identifying feature of your character, which helps you to stand out and should be appropriate for the character that you are playing. Obtaining a good LARPing costume may appear daunting for newcomers but need not be. A basic under costume (brown or black trousers and a shirt (with no buttons), with sturdy footwear, a plain belt and gloves) is a good start and can be further supplemented by other attire.
The addition of suitable props for your character will also help set the scene, but are not essential. Props are used to act as a visual aid to role-playing and are substituted for real objects that are either dangerous or expensive to use (i.e. swords, money, fake jewellery, tankards or fantasy LARP objects like wands or banners, that have no real world equivalent).
There is no benefit to wearing armour within the By the Lion’s Mane system. However it may be worn as part of your LARPing costume or to enhance it, but armour made of metal or other hard materials should not have any protruding burrs or snags that could cause injury or damage to other player’s or their boffer weapons.
Every character within the By the Lion’s Mane game has sworn allegiance to Narnia. There are no traitors among true Narnians.
Each player picks a Character Class for their first event, or for a new character, their character gets the skills associated with that class
After your first event, or the first event with a new character, you gain your first additional skill, which can be selected from the list of character skills. After your second event, or second event with a new character, you get your second additional skill, and then finally after your 3rd event or 3rd event with your new character, you get your third additional skill.
This means that each character can end up with 5 skills in total
The final thing to decide is your character class. There are a number of different LARPing classes available that define what your character can do on an event
Each player picks a Character Class for their first event or the first event with a new character, and their character gets the skills associated with that class
After your first event, you gain your first additional skill, which can be selected from the lists of character skills. After your second event you get your second additional skill, and then finally after your 3rd event, you get your third additional skill.
This means that each character can end up with 5 skills in total
Knight of Queen Susan
Bow, One Handed Weapon
Knight of Queen Lucy
First Aid, One-handed weapon
Knight of King Edmund
Two-weapon fighting, One-Handed weapon
Knight of King Peter
Shield use, One-Handed weapon
LARP General Skill Descriptions
Allows a character to be able to use any bow. (Max 30 pound pull) For younger players, this will be a thrown boffer ball.
Allows a character to be able to use a one handed weapon.
Size to be between 12” – 42” only (from tip to pommel).
Allows a character to use a one-handed weapon in each hand.
Allows a character to be able to use a shield.
Size to be no larger than shoulder width and neck to groin of wielder.
LARP Medicinal Skill Descriptions
Allows a character to be able to apply healing to themselves and others, and to determine how injured they are.
Allows the character to remove the effects of a standard poison, or to delay the onset of the effects of unique poisons.
Suitable role playing should be used to treat Poisoned wounds, and if in any doubt about which type of poison, then treat them as unique poisons
Allows the character to remove the effects of a standard magic spell, or to delay the onset of the effects of unique diseases.
IN AND OUT OF CHARACTER
Due to the nature of By the Lion’s Mane LARP it is designed that you will always be in character. The only occasions that Time Out or Man Down (explained below) will be called is for safety reasons.
Stop role-playing when you hear this call. This call is used when the Referee needs to suspend role-playing for a period of time (normally for safety reasons). You should remain in your current position but may talk out of character with people nearby. You may resume role-playing when Time In is called by a staff member.
Stop role-playing immediately when you hear this call. This call can be used by anyone and is used to indicate that a real injury has occurred (although this is a rare occurrence). You may resume role-playing when Time In has been called by a staff member.
Stop role-playing immediately when you hear this call. Stop moving and stand still with your eyes closed. You may be asked to hum whilst doing this. You may resume role-playing when Time In has been called by a staff member.
Resume role-playing when you hear this call. This call is used by a staff member to start or restart the game after it has been stopped for any reason.
AURA OF SERENITY
We have an in Game Term called the Aura of Serenity
This stops all living creatures from dealing damage in certain areas of the site.
The Dining Hall and about 3m around it.
This is so that people can dine, and use the faciltites in peace, and so that peoples own property doesn't get damaged.
One thing we would say, is that should enemies be waiting outside an area of serenity, then please go out and fight them, don't encourage them / entice them into the Aura area. And do not use the Aura of Serenity to nip in & out of during a combat.
At each By the Lion’s Mane LARP event there will be a number of staff who will act as Referees throughout the LARPing event. These Referees will be made known to you at the start of the event, but will always be in character and not wear any distinctive clothing. The Referees are there to ensure that the rules are being followed and to act as an arbitrator, if required, for certain actions. The staff who run the dining hall are also available to help with most problems whether LARP related or otherwise so please ask.
NON PLAYER LARP CHARACTERS
We use a dedicated NPC team during each event. These change, depending on the nature of the event and the age group it is targeted toward. Sometimes, players will be asked, for a time, to take on NPC roles.
By the Lion’s Mane is based on the world of Narnia in the books written by C.S. Lewis. In Narnia, Jesus Christ was known as Aslan and appeared usually in the form of a Lion. By the Lion’s Mane is a Christian LARP where the message of the game is of great importance.
The By the Lion’s Mane LARP combat system is a simple locational hit system. All characters when LARPing have the same number of locations; 5 - body, both arms and both legs. The head is normally not a viable location for LARP combat and has no effect on the character when struck; this is to discourage head hits. The only time when the head is a viable location is when a character uses a shield in combat; for these purposes the head will have one hit. Therefore, you should only use a shield if you are prepared to be hit on the head, if you would prefer not to be hit on the head, then do not use a shield. Shield users are advised to wear an in character LARP helmet. However, players should still try and avoid head hits where there is a viable alternative target.
Each time that you are struck you lose your one hit and that location stops working; multiple hits on a location do no further damage. You should role-play the fact that the struck location no longer works (i.e. do not use the struck limb, or hop on the non damaged leg or leave the damaged arm dangling by your side). If both legs are struck you are unable to do anything other than seek healing of some kind. This also applies if your body or head (Shield users) is struck.
When fighting in live role playing, there should be at least a full second between each blow/strike with the weapon, regardless of how many LARP weapons you are using. There should be no “drum rolling” or swift strikes with weapons and each blow should be aimed at a different location. The By the Lion’s Mane LARP system encourages good role-playing whilst fighting and effective parrying and striking. There will always be the opportunity to practice weapon fighting and different styles upon each By the Lion’s Mane event – this is completed both in and out of character.
Everyone attending a By the Lion’s Mane LARP event should know how to fight in a safe manner, and we will demonstrate this at a player briefing, held at each event. In combat you must pull all your blows so that they land with negligible force. Thrusting with weapons is not permitted.
Fighting should only be conducted within the in character areas and is not to take place around any of out-of-play areas. Any character that has fallen over in combat should be given the chance to crawl out of the way of the melee (if they wish)..
Our fighting system is a trust based system; We trust all of our players to own up to the hits they have received, and role play their effects suitably.
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING
If a character has an issue or problem with another characters fighting style then they should make one of the By the Lion’s Mane staff aware and they will deal with the problem. The staff are there to ensure that all combat is as safe as possible and will, if necessary, arrange for extra training in fighting styles. If your character is approached by a staff member to discuss your fighting style, please adhere to their instructions.
Types of Weapons
There are different types of weapons available for use when LARPing within the By the Lion’s Mane system as described in the Skills paragraph of the Character Section. If you do not possess the skill to use a certain type of weapon, then you should not carry or use one. Daggers may be used in combat however these count as a single handed weapon and should have a minimum length of 12" / 300mm from tip to pommel.
Safety is the single most important aspect of LARP combat. Every weapon, shield or projectile (bolt or arrow no throwing weapons!) that you bring onto the site must be checked by a staff member. Any item that is judged to be unsafe cannot be used and you must not carry the item for the duration of the event. In general, items will be checked for serviceability, the integrity of its core, to ensure that there are no hard or unsafe edges and that they are of the correct length and have sufficient foam/protection so as not to cause injury to other players.
Any non boffer or real items that are normally held in a characters hand during combat, such as wands, lanterns, bags or banners should be dropped or discarded when LARP fighting occurs; preferably to the side of any fighting area, out of the way and not used to parry with.
The following items are not considered LARP/LRP safe and cannot be used whilst LARPing at By the Lion’s Mane events.
Real weapons, including camping knives and re-enactment weapons.
Javelins and wrist-mounted hand crossbows.
Flexible weapons such as flails and whips.
No fireworks or pyrotechnics of any sort may be brought onto the site
Any Thrusting weapons
There are certain styles of fighting that are not permitted at By the Lion’s Mane LARPing events. These techniques include shield bashing/charging or striking someone with the pommel/hilt of a weapon. Grappling and other types of physical contact are also not permitted.
It should also be noted that the striking of flying arrows with weapons is dangerous, and it can cause them to spin in the air, and someone could get struck with the nock. Please do not do it.
If you do not wish to be involved in combat then you can be a non-combatant.
Non combatants should not be attacked or struck by any person.
To identify yourself as a non combatant you must wear a white sash at all times – the bigger the better. You will need to provide your own white sash.
If it is dark or if you think that for any reason nearby combatants will be unable to see your sash then you should call out “non combatant” and move away from any fighting immediately.
Non Combatants should make every effort not to put themselves into areas of fighting.
Please note that non combatants cannot carry any treasure, items of trade or any other in character valuables.
HEALTH IN BY THE LION’S MANE
Each LARP character has only one hit per location (5 hits in total – body, both arms and legs – head only for those who use shields). When LARPing, if a weapon strikes a location it ceases to work and cannot be used until it is healed. It is not possible to remove/sever locations or to take multiple hits to one location – once a location ceases to work it can take no further damage. Players with damaged locations should not use them.
If a player is struck upon the body (or the head if applicable), they must retire from combat immediately, and find a suitable place to lie down, as YOU CANNOT BIND YOUR OWN WOUNDS WHEN INJURED IN THE HEAD AND BODY.
Only Knights of Queen Lucy or players who have taken the first aid skill are able to use bandages and therefore bind a character’s wound; this includes being able to bind their own wounds. It takes one minute to bind either your own or another characters wound; once bound, the location can be used again as normal. In order to bind a wound, a bandage must be placed upon the damaged location and you must role-play staunching the wound for one minute. Individuals who play a LARP Healer character are advised to carry a sufficient quantity of bandages in order to bind wounds; bandages can be re-used. To bind wounds you must have both hands free and cannot perform any other action whilst using this skill or whilst having this skill used on you by another character. If you are interrupted before you have spent one minute binding a characters wound, you must start again once the interruption has gone. Bandages may be removed from a characters location fifteen minutes after they have been applied. It is advisable for all characters when LARPing to carry their own bandages in case healers have run out, this way you can still be healed.
Characters with the First Aid skill are also able to Discern Nature of Wounds - where they spend 10 seconds checking over an injured person, and then they can ascertain where they are wounded. They can then apply their bandages to the suitable location.
MORTAL WOUNDS IN NARNIA
There are no such things as wounds that will instantly kill a character. However if every location is struck before any location has been bandaged then the character is considered to have a mortal wound. Mortal wounds cannot be cured by the use of bandages;
A mortally wounded character can only be healed by Queen’ Lucy’s Cordial which is kept at the dining hall. The character has 15 minutes to walk slowly, with their entire group, to receive the cure.
A MORTALLY WOUNDED CHARACTER MAY ONLY WALK IF AIDED, AND MAY ONLY SPEAK QUIETLY
DEATH IN NARNIA
It is possible for a character to die in Narnia. If you receive a mortal wound and you cannot receive the appropriate Healing within 15 minutes then you are dead. Death is a part of any live action role playing event and the fear of this happening is one of the main things that LARPing so much fun.
Enemies (NPCs) who arise in Narnia may have skills in magic as well as the other weapons that they possess. Enemies are also wounded differently and will often take several blows to be vanquished. Be wary of all enemies introduced in the game.
If the monster shouts 'paralysis' when they strike you, in addition to being injured on the location that you were struck you must remain totally stationary for 60 seconds (once the 60 seconds are over no further ill effects are suffered – other than the wound)
If the monster shouts 'fear' when they strike you, in addition to being injured on the location that you were struck you must flee the sight of the monster for 60 seconds (once the 60 seconds are over no further ill effects are suffered – other than the wound)
If the monster shouts 'Mortal' when they strike you, then you must consider yourself mortally wounded. Iif you do not receive the Cordial of Queen Lucy in 15 minutes, the character will die.
If the monster strikes your weapon, and shouts 'disarm', you must drop your weapon to the floor. Once your weapon has hit the floor, you may attempt to pick it up again.
At Sound View we have the Chalet/Agape Village. Sometimes it is called "The Shire" because, I guess, the cabins there are the sort that hobbits would live in when they were short on holes. The cabins are cute. The three Agapes (built recently) are insulated with bathrooms inside whilst the five chalets (dating back decades are not insulated and are often described as a "wooden tent".
The chalets are used in the summer to house the LITs and the Agapes are staff dwellings. In the fall, winter and spring, the village is used by various groups. Of course, the Agapes are popular because they can be made warm while the chalets (although cute) are very cold and cannot hold heat. Scout groups love the Shire - especially the campfire ring there. However, those sleeping in chalets wake up as scoutsicles in the morning.
Wouldn't it be neat if all those cabins were weatherized? They are so small that a minimal heat source would "take the chill out" and body heat would do the rest. The plan would be to rip out the floor, add insulation, real windows, new floor, new interior walls and ceiling. While we are at it, create beds more fitting for a family of five so these could be used for family camp any time of the year. We estimate $1,500 per chalet to do this (there are five of them).
Now, staying true to our mission, wouldn't it be wonderful to train high schoolers in the art of renovation? How to swing a hammer and work well with others as part of a program preparing them for mission trips while at the same time having fun at camp.
We have a week in August when we could do this sort of a program. We would recruit volunteer carpenters and handy adults to be teachers/mentors to a dozen teens interested in learning some new skills.
Our goal is to raise $10,000 to complete the five chalets and allow 12 to 20 teens to come to camp for free and leave with new skills, and a real project completed that will benefit thousands of people over the years.
Are you interested? Contact me - firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to talk.
I love meeting spaces. Not that I love meetings (I don't) - I just like the idea of places at camp where folks can just sit down, comfortably, and chat. There is so little of that going on anymore.
We have been working on meeting spaces at Sound View the past couple of months. A lot is driven by my philosophy that a space should "meet" what it "sleeps".
At Sound View:
Calvinwood - sleeps 28 and easily has space for 28 to meet as a whole - or in small groups on the big deck.
The Longhouse - sleeps 36 and can meet 36. We also built, with the help of the Girl Scouts, a fire ring for those night-time meetings.
The tent cabins - each sleep 10 and now, with the nifty new loft beds, all can sit around on beds facing each other for great cabin talks.
The Chalet Village - the little cabins sleep 4 so meeting is easy because you are so close. I love the campfire circle in that village also.
We have new tables in the dining hall. They are six feet in diameter. Wow! What is cool is that you can put 10 chairs around them which, by design, is the number in a cabin group (8 kids, two leaders).
We have meeting spaces at the challenge course field (covered, with a fireplace), We can meet in the new camp library. We can meet in the A-Frame. We can meet at the waterfront around the campfire.
And finally we all can meet together - the entire camp - in front of the dining hall at a new big meeting space for chapel, skits, and other get-togethers.
We need to meet - to talk - to understand each other - in a quiet place. Isn't that what makes camp special?
It has been a real joy to see the reaction of the folks who have come to camp the past couple of month to the new mini-farm and the animals always looking for attention. Personally, I love the bleating of the sheep and goats, the clucking of the chickens, and vigilant silence of the llama - a welcome addition to the special feeling of Sound View - and so different to what most of our guests hear in their own communities.
The animals are for the most part rescued. Their purpose now is to be loved and to educate. Sound View Camp will not really receive income as a direct benefit from the mini-farm and no group/camp would come specifically because the min-farm is on site. However, the addition of the farm adds to the whole experience and allows camp staff to reach youth.families in unique ways, including establishing a needed 4H program to the local community.
If you are interested in helping sustain this new, wonderful mini-farm program, then you can donate online. (There is a new "Animal Fund" category). This will help pay for hay, feed, and vet care for the camp critters. Thank you for supporting Sound View - the site, the scholarships, and now the animals.
You know - this is my first year at Sound View and it has so far been a year of profound changes, The Camp board has made the commitment to make Sound View the best it can be while the churches of our nearby Presbyteries have pledged to support camp. How cool is this?
So - what am I excited about?
I am excited about the new floating dock that will soon become part of our waterfront. This dock will be light enough to ride out the Puget Sound winter waves so we can canoe year round (weather permitting).
I am excited about the mini-farm. Too often, young people don't have opportunities to care for "God's critters" and this summer, our goats, sheep. chickens, ducks, cats and llama will be loved and cared for.
I am excited about the dining hall. We nave new tables (big 6 foot round ones that seat 10) and new comfy chairs. We are moving back to "family style" eating to promote the togetherness of a cabin group - which, by the way, is 10 people.
I am excited about the dining hall field which now boasts all sorts of activities between the program office and the A-Frame. On the field is a new stage, campfire ring, and whopping big benches to provide the perfect place for morning chapel, and skits.
I am excited about hundreds of young people getting to know Christ a little bit better, unplugged, surrounded by His unspoiled creation.
I am excited about the A-Frame which becomes a program area and home to the camp ukuleles. It will be neat to watch and listen to campers play and sing the songs best done at camp.
I am excited about the Expedition campers canoeing from camp (destination Anderson Island) and returning to camp three days later to a hero's welcome.
I am excited about all the cool stuff that campers will be able to do this summer.
I am excited about showing off camp at open houses in May and June.
I am excited about LITs and Rovers. Teens at camp are the best! LITs will learn leadership skills and put them into practice with the mini-camp weeks while rovers will be the crucial 2nd leader in the cabin groups.
I am excited about international staff from Colombia and possibly Italy. We live on an ever-changing planet and camp is a good place to promote understanding.
You can get excited too by sharing the joy of this wonderful outdoor ministry. Encourage kids to sign up. Sign up your own kids/grandkids. Sponsor a child (or two, or twelve) to come to camp. Spread the word. Get excited!
I was looking for a Bible verse to put on the main page of the Sound View website and I chose this one...
But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7-10
One of the things that came out in the sessions this week with the planner, the board and the folks who attended was this - the site is beautiful and alive with unspoiled nature which must be preserved. People like that. I do too.
When at Sound View, more often than not, when you stop and your footsteps are but a part of the moment just passed, you hear the profound whisperings of nature. There plays the wind through the trees, and the birdsong, and the squirrel leaps and chatter, the gardens that grow and yield, and the waves on the sand, and an amazing amount of other "noise" that the heart yearns to appreciate - if not identify.
There is no doubt that the hand of God guides the natural world where humans can often be unwelcome visitors. At Sound View, we hope that those who visit this remarkable facility can learn not only to be stewards of the creation which we have been entrusted, but to take that stewardship to heart and home.
Tonight is the first of the mission planning sessions with David Lee. The Sound View Board has hired Mr. Lee and his firm to help those who care about camp to come together to dream big dreams.
This is an exciting time. Mission plans lead to program plans, site plans, which eventually comprise a master plan. It is wonderful for campers, families, and user groups to know which way camp is headed.
Who knows what is in store for Sound View. What programs will we emphasize and what buildings will we build or renovate? How will we raise the funds and who will step up as a big donor?
Stay involved and stay tuned.
I made myself a bowl of oatmeal this morning - added pecans to it. I probably don't have enough pecans left to make a proper pie but that is probably a good thing in this post-Christmas time. Anyways - when my oatmeal was done, a camp "singing grace" grace popped into my head - one of my favorites - and me being the ever-singing type - sung it out loud.
Back of the bread is the flour,
Back of the flour is the mill,
Back of the mill is the sun and the rain
And the Father's will.
Of course, we understand that God makes what we prepare in the mills. His will is in everything we see and in each one of us. People too are affected by the "sun and the rain" - those things that the Lord gives us and tests us with. Camp is one of those places where we make "flour" - a special type of mill where what God has made comes - and is changed - and given new purpose.
This is the FIRST post of a new blog for the Sound View web site. It also is the LAST post of 2016 so I guess this gives me lots to talk about.
Blogs are kind of cool and have found new life because of their ability to be substantive but still shareable through social media. I can blog my thoughts of the day with no limits or formatting constrictions and then merely post onto Facebook and Twitter for Sound View fans to "check out the latest blog post" And... maybe that's just how you got here today.
Back to the end-of-the-year thing. Sound View Camp has had a transformation year - something that all organizations go through, sooner or later. Staff changes, structure changes, uncertainty, and plenty of other challenges defined 2016. One could say that the nation as a whole went through the same thing - but I'll just stick to camp for now.
Through all of this, the Sound View Camp Board did "yeoman's work" (now there's an archaic expression - but true nonetheless) keeping it all together and beginning to define a new vision and staffing plan for our remarkable site. I have been around camps and non-profits for years, and I have never seen a lay board as committed, and willing to work hard as the folks that are serving Sound View. There is dedicated leadership in place and with that, anything is possible!
Now is a great time to support camp financially. We want to fill the place up with campers whether or not they can afford to come. We want to keep camp affordable, safe, fun, comfortable, well-staffed and attractively maintained. This takes money and every penny helps. So please consider a final end-of -the-year gift and I guarantee it will be put to good use at camp.
The future is bright and Sound View Camp will continue on as a special place in God's Kingdom. Thanks for reading and look out for next year's blog post in a few days.
Kurt Sample, Interim Director