Reflections From the Seat of a Riding Mower

July 8, 2020

CRISTA Camps Update From Shane

I was asked recently what I’m doing to keep busy at Camp while we are in hibernation mode. My immediate response was simply to illicit a smile and a laugh, as we all need those now more than ever. I replied “Making lines!” as I am spending quite a few hours mowing at both Island Lake and Miracle Ranch.

I’ve debated just letting the grass grow. It would rise up to a height over our knees, then flop over and camp wouldn’t look so good. It’s not like there’s a lot of people getting to see camp at the moment, but I think we as a staff need to see it looking good, and very practically, it needs to be maintained because soon church groups will start coming again for tours and we don’t want to look like we don’t care for the facility.

The truth is I have so much to do around camp it’s hard to get to the mowing. Budgets dominate the conversation this season, sales is important for a great start next May, the summer dates for 2021 need to be set, we have a new ‘sponsor a horse’ program we are promoting (you gotta check this out –, and we will enter a time of strategic planning for the future. Soon we can welcome volunteers to camp to help keep up with the growing list of needs around here!  

What’s important is seizing the opportunity to grow during this time, individually and as an organization. How will the events of 2020 shape our region and culture, and what will the world need from our corner of Christian camping in the Puget Sound? How can we leverage what we are best at to serve people here at Miracle Ranch and Island Lake? Really, we are discerning what God has in store for CRISTA Camps. This needs to be a season of listening, discerning and changing.

My wife grew up in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and I enjoy watching the ground get tilled up, ready for a season of planting at her family home. The tiller makes all these long, straight lines, seeds are planted and steadily watered, and the waiting begins. The important stuff happens below the surface for a while. This is where roots are set and the foundation for healthy growth comes from. As I sit on the mower and make lines back and forth across the grass at our camps, I think of cutting away the old growth and I pray for deep roots below the surface. Please join me as we pray for the continued opportunity to see God transform lives here, while responding to a world with some changing needs. We will ask God what is important to let go of, what we need to keep and what we need to do differently. This is an exciting season.

Photo by Aniket Bhattacharya on Unsplash