(insert cheesy grin here)
Here’s the deal, you and I have been doing lots of soul-searching lately. It’s been a series of reflections on hope and unburying the vibrant life of my heart. And in all this deep stuff, I’ve been thinking that you guys haven’t really met me yet—at least not the fun-loving, regular ole Sierra that I happen to be. I haven’t really invited you to my work-place or the passion that I have for kids, or the awesome people that I work alongside.
So, today’s the day!
I’m taking this summer to introduce you to my life at Wolf Mountain. The photo above was taken in April…a few days before we became resident staff here! I officially want to connect my personal life to this blog, and so the FUN summer camp posts coming your way will be affectionately known as windows.
Because you can’t possibly explain the entirety of camp life on a measly little blog. I can open up windows, but not doors. And I can let you in, but you won’t be able to experience it fully until you come and visit. So….COME AND VISIT! But until then…..
Here is your very first window:
I begin the day bargaining with myself about the time I’m going to get out of bed….and 7:20 am usually wins! I make coffee, let the dog outside, and then get ready to go to work. The Wolf Mountain staff is made up of families, college students, and hard-working individuals. Since the Moms willingly give of their time in the mornings, the kiddos need somewhere to go. And that’s where I come in! Working with kids is the BEST job ever.
We call it Kiddie Korner, but you can think of it as a daycare….only it’s quite the best daycare you will EVER know about, because the kids are awesome and we get to do exciting stuff all year long. The above picture is taken by a 3 year old. Don’t you love the artsy blur? Naturally, there are hard days on the job, but they never last long!
How can hard days last when we pick flowers in the springtime?! …(lots of flowers). We love flowers! Four girls need a LOT of flowers. We prize ourselves in the lizards we find, and call them names like Sparkle John. We go down the slide with them, all the while keeping them safe from harm. Oh and did I mention the creamer bottles we use as spider catchers? Or the toad we caught just the other day?
And let’s not even get started on the imagination games that run wild in absolutely every corner! I know I mentioned flowers already, but may I just say that we pick all manner of flowers. Small ones, ugly ones, lonely ones…we love flowers. We keep them as long as we can in a mason jar half full of water. We are quite hopeful by nature.
I love my job for so many reasons, mainly the little girl hearts I get to care for every day. But I also love that my work desk gets to be so eclectic and fun! Who else gets to have such a fun assortment of stuff on their work desk! I have a jar of sand, a jar of hair ties (for little girls and little ponies, of course), a jar of fun pens (including a mustache one), lots of reminders, and pictures of people I love.
Kids keep me young. I’m around phrases and stories such as–
I need a tissue! Do you see the snot running down my nose?!
Shock the GUS!
A tiny little pony. (dramatic pause) KIDNAPPED. the end!
Along with all the fun, they teach me compassion. They remind me that young, soft hearts need an extra covering of patience and gentleness. So when I go to work, I get to invest in the staff kids. And if I’m going to be honest, it’s the staff kids I’m most burdened for in the whole of this camp ministry.
There are so many things I love about living & working here. I’ll write about more about it this summer. But my first passion–the reason I enjoy camp life so much–-is that I get to love, care for, and spend time with the staff kids who will one day grow up to be adults! They are the future, and I get to be a part of it.
So while I walk through the valleys and mountaintops of life, I’ve got 4 little girls keeping me company Monday-Friday. I enjoy their chatter, their love for life, and their wide-eyed adventures. And pretty soon, I get to add a little boy to the Kiddie Korner tribe. I can’t wait to have a little guy here…maybe there will be less flowers and more rocks & sticks. I guess we will just have to find out in 2 or 3 years!
My life looks totally different than I expected it to be, but it is so much better than my high school dreams and childhood fantasies. I haven’t settled. I’m living the dream, and it may look a little tangled and knotted sometimes, but I wouldn’t trade it for a thing! These camp kids bring the sort of exuberance to my life that I would easily forget if my adulthood wasn’t constantly bombarded by their childhood!
Please excuse me while I go make paper plate fans and pass out stickers for kindness, while I listen to the most exciting adventures that could ever be had in one small, little red building!
looking forward to opening another window for you soon!