Yesterday, December 2, it was a joy to worship at Westminster Presbyterian Church of Chehalis. Their amazing pastor (who is also the incoming Moderator for Presbytery) gave me ample time to speak about the news, hope and dreams for Camp Sound View. Thank you for inviting me!Read More
It was a dark, stormy night at Sound View. But we had fun anyways on the Calvinwood porch trying to convince folks to give to our #tentstocabins #SV404040 campaign.
After a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with my family, my wife and I drove out to Sound View to share some food and fun with the crew living at camp.
It was pouring down rain when we walked into a beautifully decorated dining hall, holiday lights in the rafters, with a spread laid out, lovingly prepared by Hayley, our amazing cook. Seated around a very long table were the AmeriCorps team, Goody and family, and Hayley’s dad looking quite content. They hadn’t quite started into dessert yet - waiting for the AmeriCorps guys to finish - living up to their natural ability to impossibly put away food.
The conversation was buzzing - plenty of laughter - just like what was happening at family tables across the nation. “Family” is really a product of the moment.
Earlier in the day, they had played some football (good to know that nobody got hurt - especially Goody) and later, enjoyed a relaxing day at camp - warm and snug - taking a break from the wonderful work that they are doing for Sound View during their six-week visit.
It is nice to have people at camp. It is especially nice to have them there to share this special time of year.
I am so thankful that Sound View Camp remains small, intimate, and welcoming with the ability to create the special times that we will always remember.
Sound View Camp is blessed with diverse, interesting, and dedicated groups who retreat at our site throughout the entire year. As with summer campers, they have a love for the peace and solitude found in our woods, fields, farm, and shoreline. For many of these groups, they would choose no other place.Read More
I am thankful for this amazing staff team. I know that as our capacity grows, allowing us to serve more people, touch more lives, and facilitate more joy, this wonderful group of dedicated, mission-driven individual will shine even more.Read More
The theme for the conference is “More than Enough.” Our theme will explore times of scarcity and the opportunity for abundance – what drives us to have plenty, how to be both realistic and faithful when confronting our reality, and how God may be calling us or moving us to abundance.Read More
Imagine the rethinking and adopting of a new standard, sustainable toilet. Not only will millions of lives be saved throughout the planet, but there will one less camp stereotype to make fun of.Read More
Today, our new AmeriCorps NCCC team is en route to Sound View. They will be arriving Wednesday and we are excited about this. It is wonderful to have a team of young adults in camp. It brings back that summer feeling. Hayley is planning a welcome dinner and we know that they will get right to work on Thursday - and look out! An enthusiastic team of twelve can accomplish so much in just one day, and they will be with us for six weeks!
Back in 1993, I was working at a Y camp in Massachusetts and was invited to a gathering/celebration with Sen. Ted Kennedy concerning the AmeriCorps legislation just signed into law by President Clinton. My camp at the time was the host for the City Year program - particular to Boston - of which, AmeriCorps was partially modeled. The concept behind City Year was that young people had their “high school years”, “college years”, “career years” and could be given an opportunity for a “city year” to give back to their community. This year of service was usually sandwiched between high school and college, or college and career.
Prior to this, President George H. W. Bush introduced his catch-phrase, Thousand Points of Light, to describe the non-profits, faith communities, municipalities doing great work in their communities yet could use a pool of eager volunteers. He believed that the government should get out of the business of inventing social programs (Peace Corps) and jump instead into supporting the programs that are already being implemented well by others.
So - AmeriCorps came into being. AmeriCorps members are paid poverty wages to volunteer with the promise of a larger (around $5,000) educational award at the end of their service year. AmeriCorps programs come in many flavors to augment the good work being done all around the nation to assist people. The AmeriCorps NCCC “flavor” is reminiscent of the CCC programs that help rebuild and employ America during the Great Depression.
In my camping career I have worked with AmeriCorps individuals and teams in Massachusetts, Mississippi, Upstate New York, and now at Sound View. Each challenge/project has been unique but each time, the work has been cheerfully done by dedicated young adults eager to serve their country. Concurrently, all across the United States, AmeriCorps members are tutoring in schools, sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry, aiding in disaster relief, and assisting the most vulnerable among us. Just the past weekend, an AmeriCorps group sponsored by the Jesuits, came to Sound View Camp for training. These volunteers will assist in several hospitals in Washington and Oregon.
Every year, some misinformed person in Congress proposes that AmeriCorps should end. Money will be saved (he/she says). If they want to volunteer they should do so on their own (he/she says). If they want to serve their country, they should join the military (he/she says). He/she fails to realize that AmeriCorps was a Republican idea implemented by a Democrat president. Hopefully reasonable minds prevail each year and the program continues to thrive.
Please keep an eye on our Facebook page for posts on what this fall’s team will be up to at Sound View. And - if you want to send cookies, pies, and other goodies - I’m sure that they will appreciate it.
Last night I slept in a little Agape cabin at Sound View. I was cozy and warm looking up at the peaked ceiling and knots in the wood. Outside, for most of the night a storm was raging. The wind was peaking at 30 knots and the rain was falling heavily at times. Overall - nice sleeping weather when you are safe, cozy, and warm.
I woke early - I usually do - rejoicing in the fact that the sun would rise early now that the clocks were set back to end daylight savings time. There is always a folk song (or two) that I am singing and usually one sticks around in my head for hours at a time until I pull out a uke or guitar to get it out into the open where it belongs. Today’s song is Joy is Like the Rain by Miriam Therese Winter.
The first verse …..
I saw rain drops on my window, Joy is like the rain.
Laughter runs across my pane, Slips away and comes again.
Joy is like the rain.
It was 5:30 and I peeked out the window to see what the sky looked out. It looked wet outside and the trees were still moving but the rain had stopped. I slipped on by big, yellow rain-boots and stomped outside with Lucky the Dog. Lucky and I stomped over to where there was a coffee pot and about twenty minutes later, mug in hand, we hiked towards the waterfront to watch the sun rise.
The second verse of the song goes like this …
I saw clouds upon a mountain, Joy is like a cloud.
Sometimes silver, sometimes gray, Always sun not far away.
Joy is like a cloud.
We got down to the waterfront just as the eastern sky was starting to light up. There were some majestic clouds to the east so I knew that I wouldn’t see a picture-perfect scene but it was still quite pretty. I had to take a picture of the totem pole cross was it was lit up by the sunrise. At the same time, the crescent moon was still in view. How cool was that?
The third verse …
I saw Christ in wind and thunder, Joy is tried by storm.
Christ asleep within my boat, Whipped by wind, yet still afloat,
Joy is tried by storm.
We went down to the beach to make sure that the boats were OK. My little commuter boat (pulled up onto the dock) was still there but the dock, ramp, and the boat on top were still visibly bouncing around due to the storm’s waves still present. I won’t be boating home today. While stomping back across the soggy waterfront field, I noticed a little flower peeking out from amidst fallen leaves.
The final verse ….
I saw rain drops on a river, Joy is like the rain,
Bit by bit the river grows, 'til all at once it overflows.
Joy is like the rain.
Lucky and I hiked up the trail and were met by some of our guests from the Jesuit Volunteer Corps venturing down to where we just were. They too, had smiles on their faces - and maybe songs in their hearts.
The 17 goals in this resource are in harmony with what we are doing at camp and will help us as we reach out to more campers, outdoor environmental education students, and other young people - the generation that will hopefully save the planet.Read More
I made my pledge. It is more than I have in the bank right now but I know that I can pay it within a year. That is the neat thing about pledges! We can rejoice knowing that we are closer to our #SV404040 goal and you can easily manage your donation.Read More