Standing on Other’s Shoulders

Vel Shicks   1934-2015            1523885_profile_pic

Much of what we do in Christian camping is in the here and now: we currently have this many staff, this many buildings, and we offer these programs. Thinking on the now is good and dreaming of the future is great; however, I do love to ponder the past as well.

I need to be reminded of whose shoulders I am standing on today!

Our founding director, Vel Shicks passed away this week; he was 80. His obituary included this paragraph:

In 1977, Vel accepted the call to go in to full-time Christian ministry as camp director for the Central District of the Evangelical Free Church. Vel directed several summers of youth and family camps at various retreat centers around Iowa. It was in the summer of 1979 that Vel and Pat were driving around the beautiful countryside near Dayton, IA. They “stumbled” upon a hidden 640-acre piece of property, undeveloped, but lush with ravines, trees, pastures, a creek and bountiful wildlife. The campaign to “Own Our Own” began and soon the property was purchased by the District and named, Hidden Acres Christian Center.

So, I thank Vel and Pat for their work- their vision- their labor of love as they sacrificed during those beginning months to create a place called Hidden Acres.  My prayer is that we have become what Vel had only imagined and dreamed about back in 1979 when the property was purchased.

I have started my second book: Be the Director I Could Follow.  I am asking 10 to 15 former directors from different camps around the country to write their story.  As I begin to hear back from these directors, I am over-whelmed at their vision, their drive and their purposeful living that helped create the camps that they directed for 25 or more years.

For those of you who are currently serving at a camp or another ministry, build today what others will stand on in the future; remind yourself often that you are playing a part in the future of others who will follow you.  Do your job well; do your job faithfully; be a servant.

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