summer staff are here

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 8We've officially kicked off the summer camp season with the arrival of (most of) our staff! Some returning, some new — we are excited about who God has brought to serve with us at Whisper Mountain!

Whisper Mountain Camp Commander

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 1

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 5

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 9Throughout staff training this next week, we are having a little fun, Duck Dynasty style! The Camp Commander Headquarters will be filled with work, play, connecting and preparing to greet those campers with excitement, love and Jesus!

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 4

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 6

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 7

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 10Aren't they beautiful?! I think I say this every year, but this group of people is awesome! Such variety in personality, skills and backgrounds! I look forward to introducing you to each one throughout the summer weeks!

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 3Hey, have a happy happy happy day, won't ya?!

4 years | a peek back

Ramsey Title BarToot your horns, spray the confetti, inhale the helium! Today is Ramsey’s fourth year on the Whisper Mountain Camp Staff! I compiled a few pictures that have been shared here on the blog over the years with correlating links. Had I planned enough in advance I could have pulled a bunch of pictures and made a movie and all that. If only I was on top of things! For now, enjoy the reverie with us as we peek back at Ramsey’s journey with us!



Ramsey-NowIf I were to pick one thing that stands out to me about working with Ramsey these past four years I would have to say he has grown leaps and bounds in his walk with Christ. He’s a total goof ball, kind of a weirdo and bull-headed, but Ramsey shines brighter with Jesus every day! Awesomeness in a man-beard is what that is! We are super thrilled he’s on our team! He adds a dynamic that helps to create our unique Whisper Mountain culture! Kind of awesome how two weeks has turned into four years!! May there be many more to come!

Thanks for all you do to serve Jesus at Whisper Mountain, Ramsey! I am thankful, as I know the rest of the crew is, to have you around!

Anybody else think he looked like a little kid in those first pictures?!

January in Pictures [2014]

[the following pictures are a combo of iphone + camera to highlight our month for you!]

JanuaryinPictures-1Ringing in the New Year | Celebrating Snow | Hearing God's whisper
Hiring New Staff Member Manny | "Seeing" Kyle

JanuaryinPictures-2Marketing WM | Welcoming First Campers of 2014
Sunshine + Palm Trees for 2 Staffers | Staying Warm

JanuaryinPictures-3Togetherness | Unending Work | Slippery Driveways
Winter Crazies | Pecking Crows Problem | Sharing Work with Friends

January has already brought some hiccups, frustrations and stress, but strewn throughout all of that are the moments of delight, togetherness, and purposeful living. Whisper Mountain is in full gear prepping for our summer program, expanding and improving our facilities, and filling the calendar with many people coming to escape their noise and encounter God's whisper! We are thrilled!

Have you planned a getaway to Whisper Mountain yet? Now's a great time to gather some people and make some plans! We would delight in serving you!

a perk of camp ministry

Author Journal StoryAs staff of Whisper Mountain Youth Camp, we have the rare privilege of glimpsing a few of the words God is authoring on the pages of His kids' lives. Each story is unique, with differing scenery having its own peaks and valleys, but every story contains the same thread of grace woven throughout its plot. Who writes a better story than the Author of life?

Authoring Matt McFallsWe've enjoyed having a guy named Matt McFalls with us for the past month or so. Talk about a guy who loves to laugh! He's pretty good at causing our sides to ache, but he also works hard (hello weed-whacker!), has great insight and is like the rest of us…in process with His Daddy! 

Who knows how long we get to have him around, but we kind of hope he doesn't have plans to leave any time soon! Today I'm thankful for the faithfulness of the With Us God and the chance to glimpse His work through camp ministry!

Have you seen God working recently? Whether we see or not, we can be confident He is faithful.

a motor // a pro // a miracle

Gifts04I remembered I said I would share those large ticket gifts from the generous folks at the GIC conference in Florida. (see the groceries above? We were given such wonderful groceries! ahhh. it's the little things too!)

// Gift 01 //

Gifts01I wouldn't really have a clue, but I guess the old chain saws the guys use around the property (to cut down the dead hemlocks, fallen trees, and whatever other excuse they come up with to start their motors!) can't really handle the work load. Enter Large Ticket Item One. A top of the line Stihl chain saw. I've no numbers or motor sizes to throw out–again, clueless! According to Ramsey, when using this chainsaw it's like slicing butter. Now that I can relate to…amazing, easy and smooth!

// Gift 02 //

Gifts02(mm. he's handsome!) Generally a non-profit ministry is given what other people no longer need or can use. Which is awesome! We have been grateful to have many needs met this way. But when it comes to electronics, those older hand me downs don't always meet the demands of our practical work. Enter Large Ticket Item Two–the MacBook Pro! Having been a user of one of these brilliant, shiny pieces of loveliness for quite some time now, I can relate to Shaun's enthusiasm to be on the receiving end of this gift! He just shines whilst typing away: shooting those emails, writing those devos, and prepping for the programming in general! Doesn't take a genius to figure out he feels pretty cool! (He should…he's married to me!! Only kidding!)

// Gift 03 //

Gifts03There's been a lot of whining on the blog about my camera being broken or in the shop. (Sorry for that. How shameful of me.) While pouting about having to use my insufficient camera phone, I would dream. Dream of working with such magic as–enter Large Ticket Item Three–the Canon 5D Mark iii. There are many cameras out there waiting to steal your heart, but this was the one for me. Fast action, low light, video powerhouse! I never believed it would actually come true, this dream! My own little miracle! (I mean, I could almost begin to weep…it's just so…I can't even…ahem, okay, pulling it together now!) It's true, I'm often missing with a smile on my face and my eye peeping through a hole (in the most appropriate of ways, of course!)

Both individually and as a ministry, we are blown away by the bigness of God's blessing and provision! And grateful for those He commissioned to hand them to us!

Keep believing for your miracles! God's personally involved in your life! Waiting for Him is completely worth it! Is He calling you to deliver a miracle? What are you waiting for?

while Bossman was away

<<< on a completely irrelevant note — it's 12/12/12! What?! >>>

Bossman is back from his trek down. Though we felt lost without him (!) we were able to carry on in his absence!

Rain puddleA rainy day allowed for attention to be turned inside for the guys! Ramsey cleaned his office and kept up with our Ebay selling (we are decluttering around camp! awesomeness!). Shaun caught up on his camper/youth pastor connections and worked on things for summer 2013. (Also worth noting: Our morning meetings were shorter without BossMan around! He can be such a hoolagin sometimes!) Of course, this same rainy day caused some frustration for the normal office folks (the ladies!). smalltown woods + rain = blotchy & slow internet service. We survived though!

Teen flip movie
Teen movie scriptKinsley & Company (aka: screaming, giggling teen girls) were found all over the camp property filming scenes for their third full length (for English class) feature. Oh yeah. Getting serious now. Even wrote a script this time! 

Cookie partySelah was able to host her annual cookie party during the above mentioned filming day (yeah, I killed two birds with one stone here!). She was (mostly) delighted. Being pulled away from the kitchen to be "an extra" in the film is a tough life, you know?! And it was sort of a bummer to have to share the yumminess with a bunch of screaming, giggling teen girls Kinsley & Company (who has completely outgrown the traditional party! sniff.)

Hobo boyBoss Jr. gives us a thumbs up for surviving the week successfully! He's pretty glad to have the pressure off his shoulders and things back to normal! *Normal* meaning running around in his underwear, a replenished stash of candy and sneak gulps of Mt. Dew. Oiy. What's a mom to do?

Happy Hump Day, friends.

a little action outside the office

The sun was calling me out, I had some "wait for the uploading" time to burn, and there was a little action outside the office. So I grabbed my camera and went skipping out the door. Yes. skipping. and smiling. and carrying a camera. totally talented!

Whispermountain-men1I caught my man being manly with a chainsaw and some sticks! (look at those muscles. no, don't. nevermind.)

Whispermountain-men2(And then he saw the camera and pulled out the typical Shaun pose. oiy.) He's cleaning up some dead stuff along the road that makes things look really…dead. Something I never realized before coming to Whisper Mountain is that a forest takes a lot of work to keep up! There are always fallen trees and branches and such. Full time work to keep this property looking smashing! Which brings me to Maintenance Chief!

Whisper-mountain-men3Chief Ramsinator was driving his rig around…donuts in the dirt…I think that's all he was doing! No. Just kidding. He was doing something with engines and stuff that goes in the gas for winter or something. (clearly I'm not with the maintenance department!) This guy has much to keep up with! I just leave it to him!

Whispermountain-men4(When he sees the camera come out it's either duck lips or coolness poise! I picked the cool pose! He'd kill me otherwise. –hop in. That's what he'd say if you could be here. in the moment. anyways…) I'm glad he's smart enough to know that working at Whisper Mountain is where it's at! Smart little lad is he! Or maybe Whisper Mountain is smart for keeping him around! hmn. You decide!

Whispermountain-fridge-epidemicBoss Man wasn't around. Something about a board meeting to prep for or the fridge epidemic that's hit camp…no really. Our big freezer and our little fridge in the office went down. What? Hope it's not contagious. We can't stand to lose the pop machine too! (yes. I say pop. lay off!)

I'm super glad you popped in today! It gives me the chance to offer well wishes that all in your life stacks up real nice for you today! Seriously though, life can be tough so hang in there. Light is always around the bend of the shadow!

May His light shine upon 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!




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!***

In the *off* season // Ramsey

We often get asked what it is we do in the *off* season, meaning when it's not summer! I started this little series in our monthly e-newsletter, The Echo, but not all of you read that! Thus I'm sharing here! (i love finding an excuse to use the word thus!!) 



Would you say you live on *easy street* when campers leave us after summer?

RP: Yes it is so nice to sit around all day and do nothing….not. Not hardly. My work continues and seems even more stressfull trying to prep for next summer!



What sort of jobs do you work on through fall and winter?

RP: We have work teams during fall, which is a huge help to us, so we are planning work projects for them. I am still mowing and weed wacking, which is a full time job on its own, up until our first freeze. During fall and winter we are working on improvements to the grounds before next summer (so we have tons of projects) plus the general maintenance on the buildings plus our lake project which is a huge deal. There's the cleaning and prepping for retreats during this time as well. Work is never ending, always something to improve and fix and maintain.





What's one of your bigger responsibilities for the year-round work you do at camp?

RP: Grounds Maintenance, making sure the property looks prestine for our guests and all year-round. Taking care of 130 acres is never ending work!




Tell me about one of the better parts of working at camp in the fall and winter.

RP: The best part is that the mowing and weedwacking stops and I have more time to focus on projects that I didnt have time for in summer or projects that have to be completed befor the next summer.


What's one thing you can't live without?

RP: God. I've tried it without him and it didn't work out too well. lol


He’s 30!

// Sorry for lack of pics…internet's down at the office! //

Though I'm sure his parents had moments of doubt along the way, Ramsey has made it to true adulthood! He's thirtayyyyyy!!!!!

Ramsey is an awesome part of our WM team, of which we'd hate to ever ever have to do without! Aside from the humor (and occasional tude…shhh!), Ramsey carries a major part of the work load for all things property. (If you get our newsletter, you've recently read about his work in this "off" season!) Of course, he always has a lively story to retell from some big happening (usually his frequent encounters with european hornets!) that keeps us entertained!

After having walked life with him for a piece of his journey, I think our staff would all agree that the best parts of Ramsey are his growing love for God and expanding willingness to allow God to fill him more and more! We look forward to seeing how God continues to move and work in and through this guy!

So, if you know Ramsey (and even if you don't!), let him know how awesome he is! (don't worry, I'll carry a pin to work on Monday in case his head blows up too big!)

Meanwhile, we're off to work, then some playing! Happy Friday…partyin', partyin' yeah!