You know what is so amazing about God? He's not at all surprised by what surprises us. Yesterday, he reminded me of this truth. So, it's the first day, right? Everything is supposed to run smoothly, right? Really, why is it that people say that? Rarely does the first day or moments of anything run without hiccups. In fact, it's actually a blessing to be able to get out the kinks in the beginnning before they become tangles that are difficult to remove.
For the most part, camp ran smoothly, and hopefully to the parents and campers, we looked organized and prepared. And in reality we probably were...for the most part. And the surprises we had turned into awesome opportunities to live out our vision.
7:36 AM: Michelle and I had just arrived at the church. Owen is changing into his clothes right there in the foyer (seriously, no one else was there). Blake is swinging his blanket around like he's lassoing a cow. And Madison is desperately crying out "feed me, mommy." I look up and see a little girl bouncing towards the door, followed by her mom loaded down with a backpack and lunchbox. Perplexed, I go for the door. Clearly there has been a mix up. The mom thought we started full days this week, but that's cool, we just rolled with it. We'd already made arrangements for a couple of our all summer kids to stay, so we'll just add her to that list. I took her in and got her aquainted with our nursery staff and she hung out with them until it was time to "go to camp." That was surprise #1, which really turned out to be more of a blessing.
8:34 AM: Suddenly, I realize we have no banners up. These are what let people know we're a camp. So I get a couple guys working on it, but we run out of time. Scrap that for later. By 4 pm, they were hung and ready for tomorrow. I'm pretty sure they all knew they were at camp yesterday, but just to make sure....
9:36 AM: A mom approaches me and asks if this is where her daughter will be dropped off after lunch. After lunch? Camp is over after lunch. We do have a girl starting next week who is coming from summer school, but...yep, you guessed it...there's been a minor mix-up. Well, since I'm used to rolling with it by now, we just rolled with it. I assured the mom that we would take good care of her daughter, made sure she knew that since this was a half day, that she would be simply hanging with our staff all week, and sent her merrily on her way. Again, a blessing.
10:01 AM: Radio sounds off ;"Hillary, are there any cups at the pavilion?" Oops, cups would make it easier for the kids to drink from the water coolers. Off I go down to the pavilion with the first stack of cups I saw (which I stole from the coffee bar). When I get down there, a counselor stops me and says her campers needs a band-aid. Oh no, we're not even an hour or so into camp and we already need band-aids. Nah, it was just a girl who picked a scab. Yuk (though I totally used to do that as a kid).
11:21 AM: Radio sounds of: "Hillary, are you going to be ready to teach during assembly?" I glance down at Madison chomping away, pick up my radio, and say "yep, I'll be right there." Shoot, I'd forgotten that I told Michelle that morning that I'd teach about Mary & Martha. I finished up with Madison, who was done anyways, handed her off and started down the hallway. I prayed the whole way that God would take away my words and replace them with his. When it was time to go on, I talked a bit about Mary & Martha engaging the crowd along the way, however I still felt like a deer in headlights. My bad. I realized later that they had really studied about the Bible this morning and that Mary & Martha didn't really get introduced until tomorrow.
Most of these were minor surprises, but let me just focus on our added blessings for a moment. How many other camps would have just sent these moms away? How many other people would have stuck to their agendas instead of thinking about the familys' needs? Sure, there was a mix up, but the best customer service is the kind that accomodates the person, not the program. Unlike Office Depot who told me yesterday that they couldn't honor my state issued tax exempt card because there computer said that Grace Community Church was not tax-exempt. Um, sorry O.D., but I think my state-issued card trumps your computer, and I had just bought some stfuf the day before at a different O.D. with the same card. Anyways, the guys working there (one who was truly apologetic and the other who was a little too stuck to the policies) simply gave me a card with the number to call. Totally didn't mean to go down this path, but it's just an example of what not to do. Allright now I need to go take a shower or I will definitely be late.
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