What is up fellow Warrior Camp leaders,
It's been nearly 2 weeks since we first met on the property, and I figured now would be a good time to keep in touch and relay the quick Warrior Camp update.
1. I finally got to meet Johnny Blanding this last week. (By the way, everyone including Johnny is now tagged in this email, so feel free to keep in touch with each other or go to Myrts as a group sometime). Why Johnny? About a year ago, a mutual friend told me that I should talk to a guy named Johnny Blanding, cause he wants to start a medieval camp. So I finally got to meet him this week, and to hear his passion for God and his big ministry plans, one of which (no joke) involves building a castle for a youth camp. Johnny, feel free to meet/get acquainted with these Warrior Camp leaders whenever you want, but I just wanted to say it was awesome meeting you this week, and whether you're on a missions trip this summer or in Lynchburg, your encouragement and passion to help out with Warrior Camp means alot. (PS: Johnny was Leonidas in the historic Spartans vs. Sword Fight Club showdown that happened at Liberty last year...a day that will never be forgotten. Check out the you tube video).
2. This week I contacted 5 area church youth group ministries about Warrior Camp. Todd told me he proposed Warrior Camp to the youth ministry at Brentwood. Go Todd! The near infinite # of churches in Lynchburg should create some opportunities. Keep spreading the word to churches within a 1 hour radius of Lynchburg. Yeah, it's a slower process and I'm sure you're all ready to roll, but laying groundwork and building ministry bridges is key, so lets be purposeful, deliberate and thorough. As soon as the temperature warms up and a youth pastor gives us the green light, I'm confident we'll all be ready to hit the ground running. When I was in Idaho, it happened rather unexpectedly.
3. Quick reminder: For now, we are starting out with the 1 day version of Warrior Camp. Our target audience for now is strictly boys, primarily jr. high, and we're keeping the group limited to between 20-30 boys. This way we can play to our strengths, be awesome at it, hit them with some quality spiritual t-bone, pray hard, and start off with a practical phase 1 that is tangible and not unrealistic. We won't expand to the Warrior Camp weekend until we are absolutely ready.
4. I scoped out Peaks View Park this week and it's way bigger than I thought. There are some perfect areas and bridges off the beaten path that would be great for field games, capture the flag, bridge battles, etc... There's also trails that I didn't even know about that would be perfect for group devotional hikes. It's always good to have a couple locations in our arsenal.
5. The website (http://warriorcamp1.googlepages.com) has been updated on the front page, and will soon be transfered onto the onevoice ministry page. This will be a good change, and will make our web presence even more impressive.
6. Point #6 is a little tough, and I've wondered about the best way to say it. But if you hear anything negative about a fellow Christian from anyone, personally, I would insist on this: (1) That you know the whole story before drawing conclusions, (2) That the person telling you about another person has the proper motives and does care for the offender (3) That they correct the offender in the Biblical manner, or otherwise that they keep it to themselves, (4) That they have room in their mind and heart for God's grace and forgiveness toward imperfect Christians who have offended them, and (5) That they don't needlessly infringe upon very important things with issues that are more personal and perhaps largely unrelated. If you don't know what I'm talking about then that's fine - feel free to ask me individually. If you do, then please keep this in mind.
7. Ty brought up a great point this week. Whatever we do, we're going to pad the nerf out of it, i.e. make every aspect of our games foolproof and safe. We dream and envision the greatest medieval games that campers will never forget and that corroborate spiritual themes. Camper's moms dream about their young warriors being safe and coming back home in one piece. So basically there's a two-fold attention requirement from us. While safety isn't really that inspiring and didn't make it into our vision statement, it's an essential, without which we're sitting ducks. If a kid gets injured, he's probably not gonna have a fun time or a spiritually growing time. (Although, I've known some kids who would brag about their femur stiking out of their leg!). So, there's stuff we do well and then there's stuff we dream about and implement. The stuff we do well will be safety, injury prevention, having a medic kit on site, logistical prep, youth talk prep, game equipment and organization, etc.... This stuff may be comparatively uninteresting, but it's hugely important and can sabotage the accomplishment of our vision without it. Then there's things we'll dream about, like students getting saved, discipled, teams building a cardboard castle and levelling their opponent's, or playing king of the hill with swords and growing closer to God because Ephesians 6 is fun now and they begin to know that God made their masculinity and initiates them into having what it takes as a man of God. This the bulls-eye stuff that comprises the unique beating heart of Warrior Camp. So with the stuff we do and the stuff we dream, let's do it all with excellence and for God's glory.
8. Wanted to close with this:
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."
Scottish Himalayan Expedition
Keep your sword sharp and God bless,