Adults In Ministry: Day One

John I. Carney
Jun 24, 2018 · 3 min read

I, Becky and the Leichners all arrived safely at Camp Cumberland Pines for our Mountain T.O.P. Adults In Ministry week.

We registered, moved in, had orientation, an icebreaker and worship, and then split into our various service areas for planning and preparation. Becky and I are volunteering in Kaleidoscope, working with elementary-age children; the Leichners are with Summer Plus, working with teenagers; there’s also one home repair team.

I thought that when the ministry combined the Kaleidoscope and Summer Plus camp weeks it would help with attendance, but there are only 16 volunteers this week, probably the smallest AIM event I’ve ever attended. More people are able to make it for AIM weekends than the week-long camps these days, and that breaks my heart, because I love the community and the experience that you get from being here a whole week. But it is what it is.

It’s going to be an interesting week. Basically, Becky and I are the only two volunteers in Kaleidoscope — each of us will be co-leading a workshop with a staff member.

Kaleidoscope and Summer Plus have never been held at the same time before. In the late 90s/early 2000s, and at least one time since, I used to come up here and do a week of Kaleidoscope, go home for a week, and then come back for a week of Summer Plus. I love both programs, each for different reasons. I decided to do Kaleidoscope this year because I’ve done Summer Plus the last few times and I missed Kaleidoscope.

SP and K will share transportation, opening and closing, and lunch, but will do our other programming separately. Our staff member kept asking if we had any questions, and it was one of those situations where, I know it will all work out, but I’m a little overwhelmed and not quite sure what I need to ask. I’ll need the answers tomorrow when it’s actually happening. I think the workshop will be OK, but for our half-hour of “discovery time” in the afternoon I’ll have a group of kids to myself, and I’m not sure that, even with the outline provided, I’ll be able to interest them in the Bible passage for 30 whole minutes. It will all sort itself out, I’m sure.

We are in a lull right now — the Summer Plus volunteers are still having their meeting. Dinner will, all week, be later than normal because of the enormous Youth Summer Mission camp taking place at Cumberland Pines this week. We can’t share the dining hall with them as we have in the past, so we will (like last year) have to eat breakfast before they do and eat dinner after they do, which throws off the traditional Mountain T.O.P. schedule and puts us later in the evenings. But any sort of mission event requires flexibility.

I will do group morning devotion tomorrow morning, to start off our work week proper.

Ben, our camp director, at orientation.
John I. Carney

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Small-town journalist; United Methodist layspeaker; lover of old movies and new comedy.