But ask the animals...

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.   

Mission Planning

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.  

Back of the bread

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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.

At year's end

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-

Kurt Sample, Interim Director