at the water’s edge

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Water's-Edge-12Lakeside for an evening was fun and relaxing! Isn't there something about the water that is just renewing? If you're able, dip your toes in a creek, walk a beach, sit by the pool, take a bath. Whatever you have accessible, give yourself the gift of refreshment! 

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Awesomeness Takes the [2013] Stage // Erin

A little more awesomeness for today! We had the lovely pleasure of having one of our local teens work with us this summer as a GIT (Guide In Training). Meet Erin!

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Whisper mountain staff erin 3A real beauty, inside and out, Erin's fun-loving nature makes her very comfortable to be around! Almost a down-home hospitality about her personality, if that makes any sense, which matches up real well with the bluegrass music in her veins and clog dancing in her feet! A true Robbinsvillian!

Whisper mountain staff erin 4Working at Whisper Mountain has a way of stretching us, all of us, beyond our comfort zones. Seeing Erin grow through the summer, being involved with the campers and our staff was such an encouragement to me. Her willingness to be used however she could, serving in whatever way asked of her is testimony to the work God is doing in her life! This girl has A LOT going for her and she has a God lovingly at work in her life! Like I said before, she's a real beauty!

Whisper mountain staff erin 1Follow some of Erin's fun on instagram @erin_goodpaster.

Enjoy your today!

Awesomeness Takes the [2013] Stage >>> Luke & Jake

Let's kick off the week with some more awesomeness in the form of a duo! Mostly because I'm behind and running out of time, but also because they kinda go together anyways!

Whisper Mountain Staff Luke and JakeJake and Luke, The Dangerous Duo. At least that's what the weeds say as this duo immerses themselves in chigger infested lands where the grasses grow tall, the snakes slither, and the stinging insects harass! With weed-whackers in hand they face opposition at every turn, defeating the army of overgrowth trying to conquer the camp! (hee, that was fun!)

Whisper Mountain Staff Jake1Jake started his summers at Whisper Mountain several years ago as a camper…a very shy, hardly said two words all week camper! Two years ago (I think!) he spent his first summer on staff as a weed whacker! He keeps coming back for more and we were thrilled! Jake's a hardworking fella! I can't speak for everyone else, but his life encourages me. His life is such a picture of how God patiently grows us, transforming, shaping and molding us into something bringing Him glory. As I see Jake around the property working his little tail feathers off (weed whacking acres of property isn't for the faint of heart mind you!), I see a quiet confidence growing in him, a charisma making him quite enjoyable to be around.

Whisper Mountain Staff Luke1Jake drafted his pal Luke to join this summer's weed whacking crew. As I was thinking about what to share about Luke I kept chuckling to myself. An outgoing chap, Luke comes up with some pretty random stuff. All I can do is laugh! As much as he is random, he also loves Jesus! His hard work and positive attitude was definitely an asset to our team! Sadly he had to leave us recently, but we are thankful for the time he was able to spend with us! Thankful for all the blood, sweat and tears (well, I never saw those!) poured out to help make Whisper Mountain look as well-groomed as it does!

You can keep up with Luke's randomness on instagram @lukeskywalkerjr

I'd love to have you experience moments with Jake too, but he never posts pictures. In case my harassing inspires him (unlikely!) you can find him @turkey_thug96.

Let's make Monday awesome, friends!

Dolly wasn’t there!

Dollywood-Staff-FunThe Whisper Mountain Staff adventured to Dollywood for a day of roller coaster riding fun! Rather than waiting for the end of summer for our “celebration/thank you/let’s play” staff event we found a pocket of time last week! I gathered a few pictures from everyone’s instagrams to give you a peek into our day! (somehow quite a few guys never made the pics so just imagine them trying to suppress their little girl screams on the wild eagle roller coaster!)

Dollywood-Staff-InstagramsAfter all the walking around and adrenalin exhaustion, we caught a show to end our day. The Gazillion Bubbles Show! Have you ever heard of a bubble artist? Me either! It was amazing! I was very impressed and I couldn’t stop smiling! Such fun!

Dollywood-Bubble-ShowWhen we work as hard as we do, play becomes appreciated! I’m thankful for this group of people we work with and for the gift of play we found at Dollywood! If you’ve never been and you are in the Pigeon Forge, TN area sometime, it’s worth a stop! Might as well stroll a short ways through the forest and visit us at WM after!

May your Monday be an un-Monday!

The Power of Camp :: Immersion

POC immersionCamp gets teens outside. Being outside helps teens be better people! Makes sense if you think of the last time you spent a few minutes out of doors. If you weren't eaten alive by the bugs first, chances are you walked back inside feeling lighter, breathing deeper. I know something as simple as hiding out in my backyard alone a few minutes helps me return to my chaos more caring and generous to those most taxing on my nerves. (not as if that ever happens in real life, of course. Just a hypothetical example!)

Lake piznicLast night we piz-nicked (pizza + picnic) by the lake. Which of course brings the staff some water fun! Quite a bit of immersion going on there!

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WM + MP = right now

Snowday

I know it's technically spring, BUT it feels a little more like winter at the moment!

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We've been enjoying the warmth of a few families spending their spring breaks serving at Whisper Mountain! Yeah…pretty awesome!
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Along with that awesomeness comes a coupla visiting summer staffers! You may recognize Hope and Emily! They have had some firsts on this visit with us!
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So fun! Along with that awesomeness comes sledding–backwoods style!
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Such good times! There has been a little work getting done, but I must say the snow has been an enjoyable distraction for everyone! Something magical about that white stuff!
Snowday11And something warming about people sharing in such magic!
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*///|*|*|\\\*
Also Noteworthy: TODAY IS MARTY's 5? th BIRTHDAY!!
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I think he's pretty worth celebrating! Give him a shout out if you wanna!!
With a wink and smile, Happy Hump Day!

how did Noah do it?

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Rains have been falling for days now and even as I sit at the patchy internet this morning the rains continue! Grab your umbrella and let's take a quick stroll to see the effects of the rain around us!

<On Long Creek>

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Long-creek-03If you've been to camp before, you know the banks of Long Creek are definitely swelling! If there wasn't the danger of smacking into someone's bridge, it could be quite an adventure to tube down!

<at Whipser Mountain>

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Where's the hope when life drenches us and threatens to flood our hearts with despair? Why, anchoring to the Rock, that's where!

Long.wm-creek-11I have a little more compassion for Noah enduring so many drab days, confined inside (and with such an odor!) now too!

In whatever you face today, I hope you stay afloat with hope!

Upside Down & On His Way Down

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We've been dragging ourselves along in some areas and feeling upside down in details the past few weeks (mostly Patti) as we prepare for the annual Whisper Mountain Board meeting. Last year's board meeting was held here at WM, but this year Marty will be traveling to Florida. The point is to reconnect the guys with all the happenings of the camp and then to help direct the moving forward of the ministry!
Upside-down3I know there will be a little breathing happening the next few days…a sort of dignified flopping in Patti's case!

If you would, please pray for Marty heading down to FL (and truck to hold up!), wisdom and great sharing of ideas, and a reigniting of excitement and passion for all the camp is about! These guys are awesome! We're glad they are on our team!

What team(s) are you a part of serving alongside of? Isn't it great to be a part of something with others who care about the same thing?! Happy Serving & Happy Day to you!

we practiced what we preach!

Slumbering-woodOur full-time staff just came off a first-ever staff retreat! We are pretty good about preaching it…get away into the quiet to find rest and refreshment and to hear God's whisper. We have it down, in word. We struggle as a unit to practice it! But we got away! We planned, we prayed, we played! Fabulous! Just hanging out and cracking up was a refreshing change from the on mission, get some work done atmostphere we are used to!

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Staff-retreat-04And we got to spend a little time with these goofballs summer staffers who lived in the area!Staff-retreat-goof-duo

Staff-retreat-goof-kt(yes, I just posted this picture of you KM!!)


Staff-retreat-goof-chrisI'm already thinking ahead to the next one…this time all play and no work!


Staff-retreat-whole-groupHmn. Just what should we do?! (any interested sponsors?!)

***thank you to the generous folks allowing us to stay in their mountian home for the weekend! You are awesome, we are blessed! May God heap goodness down on you for loving us!***