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Dear Moms and Dads…Love, The Director

July 17, 2011

We are excited to begin Session 4 of camp, and especially excited that this week, out of 125 campers, 80 are here for their first time! Some have been to other camps before, many of them day camps, but for many more this week represents a “first” – perhaps their first time away from home, their first time at a camp, or their first time at a sleep-away camp. While this is a first for many campers, we recognize that this may also be a first for many moms and dads out there – the first time sending your child away to camp – so this post is dedicated to you!

First, rest assured knowing that your child is in good hands! I am so amazed with our summer staff this year (and every year) – it is wonderful to see the work of God in their lives, and the way God is using their gifts and talents here at camp. A long-time staff member said last year that one of the defining qualities of an excellent counselor is the ability and desire to “love kids well” – and I can say with full confidence that this is in the heart and mind of every staff member at at Oak Hill. Not only are we committed to making this the best week of the year for each camper here, but it is our hope and desire that they leave camp on Thursday with a firmer knowledge of the love God has for them in Jesus Christ.

Second, we’ll be posting updates and pictures on Facebook and on this blog about our activities this week. Even if you’re not a Facebook user, you can still have access to our page to view pictures at http://www.facebook.com/campoakhill. Each morning will be filled with “rotations” in which kids spend time with their cabin mates at various activities around camp. Each afternoon we’ll have some free time before dinner, followed by a camp-wide activity, which may will likely include our traditional and much-loved “Counselor Hunt” and even a Carnival outside on Tuesday night! We’ll wrap things up on Wednesday with a closing campfire, and have some other special activities planned for closing day on Thursday.

Lastly, I’ll share a personal story to hopefully ease the hearts and minds of some first-time camp parents out there. Over 20 years ago my mom was working as a dental assistant, and one day a college-aged patient came in for a simple cleaning. This patient happened to be a camp counselor, and was on his way to staff training that day at a place called Camp Oak Hill. The details of the conversation have been forgotten over the years, but suffice it to say that this young man impressed my mom so much that she decided right then and there (even against her own fears and uncertainty as a first-time camp parent) that she would send my older brother (who was 8 at the time) to Camp Oak Hill. Before the counselor left that day, my brother was signed up for his first week at camp! Little did she know the impact Camp Oak Hill would have on my brother and our entire family over the next 20+ years. My older brother (and later, my younger brother), never missed a summer at camp, and went on to work here as counselors while in college. And to round out the story – here I am working full time as the Camp Director since 2008! All this is to say that you never quite how much of an impact a week at camp can make on your child. It’s made a huge difference in the lives of me and my brothers and our entire family over the years, and I’m certain that this week there are many campers who (quite unknowingly) are embarking on an experience that will shape the rest of their lives.

So, Moms and Dads out there, be excited! It’s going to be a great week at camp, and perhaps the beginning of a journey that will shape your child’s life (and your own) for many years to come.

Love and peace,

Brian Hollingsworth, Camp Director

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kathleen Kozak permalink
    July 18, 2011 12:09 am

    Thanks so much for this post. As I am writing this in my quiet house I know my two oldest are safe with you!! We chatted today but your Mom’s story is similar to mine. At my job teaching high school seniors , I have met several of your camp family. After 3 years and some encouragement from you counselors they are there! I left feeling lost but in my heart I know they are meant to be there. Enjoy your time …you are all in my prayers tonight. I look forward to the updates and photos.

  2. katie whitaker overby permalink
    July 19, 2011 9:22 am

    Your mom is an awesome woman of God! How wonderful it is after so many years that being a counselor when your older brother was here, to now you being the director when two of my sons are there! I love to see how God works continously in our lives. Thanks so much for your story!

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