Readers of the Whitworth English Blog know that we have a soft spot for tales from church camp. Rosie McFarland (’14) recently sent us this dispatch about her summer at Tall Timber Ranch. She also sent the photos (in the one above, she’s in the back row, far left.)
Rosie McFarland is an English and Theology major at Whitworth. She lived at Ghormley Meadow Christian Camp in Rimrock, WA for ten years before moving to Yakima. Her family now lives in Moses Lake. Rosie enjoys reading, writing, watching Downton Abbey and Doctor Who, and hanging out with friends.
For the first ten years of my life I lived at a summer camp, so last May I thought I knew what to expect while working at Tall Timber Ranch as a sous chef. In the end though, it was so much more than I could have hoped for.
Christian camps have a unique opportunity to minister to kids who might not normally come into contact with outspoken Christians. The summer staff is obviously an essential part of that. Campers don’t often realize how much work goes into everything that happens throughout their day, and that’s a good thing. The kitchen is invisible to busy campers.
I came up with a good analogy for working in the kitchen. I once told my staff that I wanted us to fade into the background. It was not our place to complain or yell out to the campers, “Look what I made! Be thankful!” I told them that the food should appear like magic – think Hogwarts.
Different aspects of summer camp work differently: some are front and center providing campers with much needed role models. Others work behind the scenes. As my head chef said, some people plant the seeds, and some plow the ground. This summer, the kitchen staff were plowmen. We prepared the soil for others to plant the seeds. If the campers had a good meal, they would not be distracted by it for the rest of the day.
Not every job is the most glamorous or sought after, but every job is essential to a summer camp if it is going to run smoothly. I will not remember every pan I washed, every loaf of bread I baked, or every burn I acquired. I will remember the people I met, the friends I made, and the importance of the unseen plowmen.