Tomorrow begins my sixth camp experience with Willow Student Impact. Over the past three years, I’ve led a small group, ran graphics, and most recently, tech directed. It has been a crazy adventure of ups and downs – laughs and tears.
Every camp, there’s a moment during the weeks preparing for camp when panic sets in. The moment occurs when the swirling vortex of what needs to be done overwhelms the amount of logistics my brain can feasibly happen. Since I started tech directing camps in January of last year, each camp has been increasingly less panic-filled.
I remember Blast of 2013. I was the assistant technical director walking into a new side of the production world. My friend Chelsea and I took countless laps around the Pheasant Run MegaCenter talking through every single doubt and insecurity I had. Lap after lap, my fears were met with a confident affirmation from someone who had walked in my shoes before.
Walking into Sandblast 2013, my first camp as a full-fledged tech director, I had many moments of panic. They came in the form of frantic preparation for things I couldn’t foresee, operating in continual hyperdrive, and ending up walking into camp like a zombie. All of this panic built and built until my body couldn’t handle it anymore and my team forced me to take a break.
Blast 2014 started off with many adventures, but a new sense of calm. It definitely wasn’t fully developed, but it was more present than before. Issues popped up right and left with media, power, rentals, and personnel, but through it all, I somehow knew it was going to be okay. When I had doubts, Chels was next to me the whole way – speaking truth in a calm, confident manner.
Here we stand at the cusp of Sandblast 2014. Things are different this camp. We haven’t even left yet, and I’m confident that somehow, everything is going to work out. I don’t know what is ahead, but i’m calm.
Henry Cloud taught some messages at Willow a while back about the power of community. He mentioned a study that was done with a monkey. The monkey was subjected to loud noises and intense stimuli repeatedly while alone in a cage. A little while later, they ran the same stimuli, but put a second monkey in the cage. Just by inserting a second monkey, the first monkey was able to be more calm while subjected to chaos.
This has been a huge learning for me over the past year. Instead of trying to handle everything solo, God has put some key people in my life to sit with me through chaos – whether I wanted to let them or not. It has been a season of opening my hands, heart, and to-do list to others who simply want to be with me. I’ve been blessed with new friends, a wonderful intern, and many continuing deep friendships.
Walking into camp tomorrow is going to be a new version of the camp adventure. Biggest crew in Impact production history, most prepared ever, and largest attendance yet. The to-do list is annihilated, the truck is packed, and we will embark for Indiana at 5:30am tomorrow. My goal: to remain present. To avoid hyperdrive. To enjoy the adventure.
Here’s to creating an environment where 1800+ students and leaders can experience Christ, and that in the midst of the insanity, I can be present, and experience true calm next to people I love.