the thick of things

mountain bluebird imageIt is a wonderful time of year here at Camp Valaqua; the country is alive with birds returning to the land after a wise winter away, the trees are yawning and stretching and waking up, and camper registrations are pouring in!

Last Saturday we held our annual Spring Work Day and over 60 people came to help us get camp ready for summer. We cleared brush, varnished bunks for new cabins and installed our new kayaks. The earth seems to be getting ready for camp too as mountain bluebirds can be seen on nearby fence posts, the great blue herons are in the marshes once again, and even the poor deer and moose trapped here through this long winter by lack of wings are starting to look sleeker and less ragged as the grass grows in. Summer is coming!

And we are preparing. We have some staff onsite working hard to make sure that the facilities are ready to go and preparing to train our wonderful staff team. Summer is coming and we will be ready!Great blue heron image

This is a thrilling time of year for me. Now is when I get to begin focusing more exclusively on our summer camp program. I meet staff and settle them in to their roles, we spend time planning how we will train our staff and how we will shape the culture we want our camp community to have this year. I spend hours thinking about the gifts of the staff who are coming and how we can best support those gifts so that they are as successful as possible. Camp starts to turn up in my dreams in vivid and sometimes scary ways as it lurks near consciousness at all times. Everything I read or listen to is chased by the question “how can I use this to make our camp better?”

This morning our sixth new cabin arrived, the truck growling past my house as I poured coffee at the kitchen counter, the cabin sitting placidly in the parking lot before I returned from getting the kids on the bus to school. Today the maintenance staff will prepare to move it to its prepared site that we spent a piece of Saturday clearing. This summer, Mennonite Disaster Service is partnering with us to build the remaining 4 cabins as part of a family building project and we are very excited to host them and to see this project to completion. Fundraising for this project is underway and moving ahead thanks to the amazing generosity of the community that supports Valaqua.

Yes, it’s a wonderful time of year here at Valaqua, and we can’t wait to have you join us!

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