summering

This season is the busiest part of my year, and often the most overwhelming, but with that comes great, great joy.

This morning, I’m sitting at the picnic table outside the camp office, which is my favorite spot in the summer. Music is drifting from the Art Barn next door, where Jonah is busy cleaning for the next group of campers. A family of geese are making their way up the lawn from the lake, the babies nearly 1/3 grown, their feathers darkening by the day. I can hear cooking campers in the herb garden, seeing what chive blossoms look like up close. I sent off ranch and basketball campers just after breakfast- their mornings’ spent elsewhere, exploring and playing.

A huge robin is sitting in the tree above me, scouting for a morning snack to share with her babies. The lake is swelling to full pool and the nights are staying warmer. The solstice is this week, when the sun will linger til nearly 11 o’clock. Last night, I watched the most brilliant rainbow dance between the pines in the late evening, while campers settled in for their first night.

The rhythm of camp life is in as many ways routine as it is sporadic. The bell rings each morning at 7:30. We sing, we eat, we pray. Campers come and go, staff learn a new set of names each week, the moon rises a slightly different place each day– community continues, the earth continues, joy continues.

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“you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace, the mountains & the hills before you, shall burst into song & rejoice,

and all the trees of the fields shall clap their hands, for you. ”

We sing this blessing to our campers each Friday, at the end of the session. As the summer sinks in, I pray you, too, go out with joy.

 

xx, k

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giving thanks (these days)

summer is in full swing in the interior west, and it feels both familiar and brand new in a million ways. the way the sun settles into the lake each night stills my mind and gives me peace at heart. 

lately I have been really thankful for mountain lakes & good hiking buddies, 

 
for feeling small in a big, big world, 

  

for the joy & laughter of campers,

  

and for the promise that we are never alone, even in our deepest sadness and struggle. 

 
I have been discerning the future a lot this week and am hoping for some clarity soon, but am also so happy to be here, in this place, at this time. Being brave. 

What are you thankful for today? 

celebrating summer camp

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keeper of 1000 sunsets, infinite songs, miles & miles of hikes and so much laughter and love: Mar Lu Ridge.

I could go (& have gone) on & on about what camp taught me and the ways it has shaped me. I recognize gifts that MLR gave me in my daily life & work, at FLBC & beyond.

These days, I’ve been especially grateful for the work ethic my summers at camp instilled in me & the true belief that conversations and story sharing can change lives. A week at summer camp or a weekend retreat can be deeply transformational for children, youth & adults. I am so lucky to see the spirit at work every day, as I watch people open up and grow in themselves as they spend time out in nature & in community. I’m endlessly thankful for places like MLR & FLBC that facilitate time apart, time to experience the glory of creation & time to slow down and think a little harder about these lives we lead.

I truly, truly believe that outdoor ministry changes lives & encourage you to support a camping program wherever you might be. This month is “I love camp” month in the MD/ DE & Metro DC synods of the ELCA- the synods that directly support MLR. Download the I ❤️ MLR! sign here & submit your own photo!

go west, young woman.

I have some pretty big news to share, friends… I’m moving to Montana!

In my post LVC job hunt, I decided to apply to many positions in DC, Baltimore and some around the country. I searched the Lutheran Outdoor Ministry network and applied for two jobs at Lutheran camp and retreat centers. I was looking for jobs where I could use my facilitation skills to return to my first love: outdoor ministry. Having lived in the DMV area my whole life, I was also excited to look for jobs in a different area of the country, preferably with big mountains!

I am so excited to start my next adventure in life with Flathead Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center, near Kalispell, Montana. I will be the Retreat Coordinator, working as a host, guide and facilitator for their 6000+ retreat guests. I will live on the camp grounds, in a cottage overlooking Flathead Lake! Many other staff members live on the grounds, so I will not be alone during the Montana winter, which is a huge plus. I am so excited to meet all these new people, experience life in Big Sky country and help others embrace this beautiful world we’ve been given. LVC and MLR have given me so many gifts for this work, and I can’t wait to use them and grow in myself as a young adult.

Ginny & I will be driving cross country starting September 4th- she will get to see the camp and nearby Glacier National Park before flying back to MD. We are pumped to see the country in this slower sort of way.

I am so looking forward to this new step in my life and am so thankful for all the people who have supported me in making this decision. Come visit! I will post my new address when I know it.

much love,

kyle

 

ROAD TRIP READY!

giving thanks (these days)

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for sunset walks in a labyrinth designed by a lady I love dearly.

for hikes with my father through our mountains.

for veggies and fruit picked straight from the Earth.

for my mama’s quiet smile and hard work as she watches her summer camp thrive.

for my morning runs on the canal, watching the Queen Anne’s lace swirl in the breeze.

& for space to reflect and grow.