Check out this letter from our Camp Director inviting the community to camp this summer!
Written by: Teresa Phares, Summer Camp Director and Diocesan Children & Youth Coordinator
As the start of the St. Crispin’s Summer Camp 2022 season grows closer and closer, I have found myself reflecting a lot on the role that this program has in our diocese and on the vision that our leadership team has for its future. I personally have found it helpful to use a tool that has already been developed to help guide me in my reflections and decisions.
The St. Crispin’s Summer Camp Rule of Life (Revised)
- We are a community of daily worship and prayer.
- Out of our worship and communion with God, we strive to respect the uniqueness of each individual.
- We do not put one another or ourselves down.
- We are willing to level in love, honoring one another with honesty and respect
- We do everything out of love for God, self, and one another.We are in life together.
- Therefore, we are willing to give all we are to one another, and with God's help, to offer more.
- In everything we do, we seek to be open to the Holy Spirit.
A Rule of Life is an intentional plan that helps us to keep God at the center of everything we do. It sets our wider intentions so we can then work backward to organize and envision our daily walk and responsibilities so they are in line with those commitments. A Rule of Life gives us opportunities to thoughtfully and prayerfully discern how to order our daily roles and decisions in manners that are most conducive to spiritual growth. An effective Rule of Life includes values that focus on our relationship with God and our relationships with others. The Rule of Life has a rich history in Christian tradition, and the St. Crispin’s Summer Camp Rule of Life has a rich history in our Summer Camp tradition. What a gift this Rule of Life is to our camp community!
This summer, the St. Crispin’s Summer Camp Rule of Life will be even more central to the camp experience. As I ponder some of the goals that we have for the program this year, it helps me to think about where they fit into the Rule of Life that means so much to us.
Goal #1: A Stronger Focus on Faith Formation
This year, we have added a new role to our leadership team - the role of Lay Chaplain. The Lay Chaplain’s role is to assist the Dean Teams in coordinating worship, music, and program implementation. This individual will assist the Dean Teams in program implementation in a variety of ways and work closely with the Dean Teams and summer staff to ensure that worship, formation, and the program are an integral part of the St. Crispin’s Summer Camp experience. I am excited that Philip Newcomer will be serving in this role for the 2022 season! As the Lay Chaplain, Philip will also be spending time during each camp session teaching campers about The Rule of Life and how they can order their lives according to it.
We are expanding our Dean Teams this summer and welcoming six new Deans to be part of our teams! A Dean is a volunteer whose role at camp is to enrich the spiritual lives of campers by providing the religious formation program for the week. The Deans will work closely with the Lay Chaplain and other staff to implement their program. The Deans have always been central to the St. Crispin’s Summer Camp experience. It is vital for us to continuously welcome new Deans, while also preserving the centrality of this role at camp. This summer, I am excited that several young adults from the St. Crispin’s Alumni Community are enthusiastic about coming back to serve as Deans. This is a testament to the power of camp community, and the values of vocation and ministry that have been instilled in our past campers.
Goal #2: A Culture of Welcome
After a couple of difficult years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is our goal for camp to feel more open and welcoming for all - including children, youth, and the adults in our diocese.
St. Crispin's is an inclusive camp where we strive to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of all campers. We aim to make camp a safe, affirming place. Our staff are trained in how to cultivate that kind of environment.
This year, we are already fully staffed for camp! We have invited back several groups of varying ages to join us in the camp experience. We will have Counselors-In-Training and adult volunteers assigned to camp sessions. We also encourage our Deans to bring their families with them to camp. Along with brand new Deans, we also have brand new Medical Staff that are coming for camp this year. While at camp, it is our hope that all of these groups will form strong cross-generational relationships that will enhance the camp experience for all, and that will contribute to the development of the program for years and years to come.
It is also our goal to be accessible to and transparent with the wider diocesan community (and beyond!). Our leaders hope to form relationships with parents, clergy, and other leaders by offering opportunities for Meet & Greets and by being responsive. We aim to be warm, friendly, and professional and to truly get to know you all in meaningful ways!
Goal #3: Effective Leadership Culture
Our leadership is deliberate about leading according to the values present in the St. Crispin’s Rule of Life. We aspire to cultivate a culture of collaboration, as well as directness and professionalism. A team with unique and varying skills and perspectives was intentionally built, including Tyler Gosdin as Assistant Director. We aim to be in life together in ways that lift each other up and allow us to offer even more of ourselves to God and to the campers. We know that we can have fun, and also be flexible so that we are open to feedback and attentive to nudges from the Holy Spirit. I am thrilled about the team of passionate, thoughtful, and enthusiastic staff I have been able to build.
Our theme for camp this summer is “Let Us Rebuild.” It comes from Nehemiah 2:16-18. When dwelling in this scripture, I am often drawn to the last line in verse 18 - “So they committed themselves to the common good.” Let us all come together this year and commit ourselves to being open to how God is shaping our diocesan camp ministry.
I cannot wait to welcome you all to St. Crispin’s Summer Camp this year! In all of my camp planning, I have been most motivated by knowing that I will get to see these campers come back year after year and grow in their spirituality. I have heard so many testimonies about the impact that St. Crispin’s has had on individual lives. Nothing is more rewarding than being able to walk alongside young people in their faith journeys. This is only the beginning of my story with St. Crispin’s, and I am so excited for it to begin with you all this summer!
There is still time to register for camp! For more information on Camp