“December reflections from a camp directors window”
As I look out my office window at the ground newly covered in white, it reminds me how quickly an outlook can be changed. In the short-lived, transitory life of a snowflake, overnight may seem very long indeed. For us humans, a year might come closer to the time-passage of the snowflake’s overnight. This past year at Hidden Acres seems to have come and gone as quickly as the first snow, yet so much was accomplished.
As programs and facilities have expanded over the years at Hidden Acres, it became increasingly clear that we needed to add more on-site staff to share the load. The board approved this direction, and this year God supplied both a new house and the people to fill it. As many may be aware, Chris and Amanda Pot have joined our staff roster as managing directors. My wife Chris and I are very thankful to have them as part of the team giving leadership to this ministry. We are also excited to be able to back off from the 24/7 responsibility that had become necessary here. Chris and Amanda are doing a great job scaling the learning curve, serving the many user groups and needs of this multi-faceted facility.
This year some of our facilities- Stonehouse, old staff house and Pineview, underwent some energy efficiency upgrading, resulting in a smaller environmental footprint and reduced utility costs. We hope to be able to complete this initiative within two years.
Our summer camp program also underwent a few changes. We were excited to start two new camps both of which ran from August 29th to September 1st. One of these was for children aged 6-10, our youngest overnight camp ever. We had quality staff and more excited campers wanting to attend than we had room for! At the same time, we offered a camp program for young adults aged 15-23 who had special needs. We’ve known for a while that there were not many summer camp opportunities for this demographic. We also knew that many of these young people who were HAC alumnae were sad to not be able to come back to Hidden Acres when they got too old for the regular camp programs. With some adjustments to the rest of the summer schedule, we were able to offer this new opportunity. Both camps ran at the same time, yet because of our increased facilities and exceptional staff we were able to program and accommodate them separately. The response from children and parents in both new ventures was extremely positive. We look forward to running these camps again next summer.
It is now late in the day. The Mennonite pastors who were here for a day of quiet prayer have gone home. The sun is setting, and now much of the snow is gone. Who knows what stories the snowflake will tell of its brief life in these environs, but as for me, “This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
May you know God’s Love and be a channel of blessing to others in the year ahead.