Letter #353: Traveling Gypsie


Dear traveling,

So you begin. It’s crazy that it’s that time of year again, but I’m stoked. You are my favorite part of my job in the fall. Good thing. If you weren’t I’d be one miserable girl! Especially considering my first stint out is for 15 days!

Let me explain. I work for Kanakuk Kamps. We’re a Christian, sports camp whose mission is to develop dynamic Christian leaders through life-changing experiences, godly relationships and spiritual training. In order for this to happen, we must have campers coming to camp as well as staff to make camp happen. Thus, we have winter trail where all the directors travel the country interviewing staff and telling families about Kanakuk.

I am lucky enough to get to be part of winter trail and because I’m single and childless I spend LOTS of time on the road. Like 10 plus weeks. At this stage in my life, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Living out of a suitcase and sleeping in a different place every night doesn’t stress me out in the least. Getting to see friends, campers and interview along the way excites me. The trickiest and most dreadful part for me is packing. Packing for 15 days with temperatures varying from 45-95 degrees and activities from tailgating and football games to work engagements and a conference…strategy is necessary. Based on the above picture, I’m not sure how much strategy occurred!

After lots of laundry and finally just selling out to finishing, I’m packed and ready to go. Flight leaves at 1:15, and I’m College Station bound! I’ll detail my adventure more in a later post, but for now all you need to know is I’ll be wearing orange amongst the Aggies!

So it begins,

Traveling gypsie

P.S. Happy First Day of Fall to the best readers in the world!

Letter #227: Personal Summer

Dear self,

In preparation for the next three months of our life, our weekend has consisted of a calm before the storm. In three days our life is going to look 100% different. This isn’t a complaint in the least, simply a statement. May 18th marks the beginning of summer for us. The beginning of summer marks camp and moving to Lampe. Lampe means K-West. K-West equals Staff Training Week. Staff Training Weeks means staff and then campers. Staff and campers equal opportunity to share the Gospel and point people to the foot of the cross.

Staff and campers also mean being surrounded by people almost constantly. This is one of our favorite parts of camp, but it’s also exhausting. Therefore, this weekend has consisted of lots of solitude. Generally, we’re wired to be with people often, but we also need time alone.

Not to mention, Friday night during the Thunder game it finally hit us we needed to personally prepare for summer. Purchasing the essentials: deodorant, socks…who are we kidding, we’ve been doing this long enough our purchasing doesn’t include much out of the ordinary. Printing new pictures to decorate our office…boys, you wouldn’t understand! Packing…this is a struggle for us considering we live within driving distance of camp…Nothing seems nearly as pressing!

So, we began. The process opened our eyes to the fact that we’ve been so focused on preparing the entire summer and K-West as a whole that we forgot to put ourself into the equation. Legitimately, a huge chunk of “camp supplies’ are in Oklahoma still and this never crossed our mind over Easter. Schedules, talk assignments, proposals for change, conversations with staff, meetings, party planning. Our days are inundated with camp, but not specific to us. Not that it’s about us, but to some degree it has to be.

If we don’t have any clothes to wear, well camp is going to be scarred for life. If we’re not individually prepared, then we’ll never be what camp needs. Well, let’s be honest, camp doesn’t need us at all. You know what I mean!

Bigger than packing lists and hygiene products, individually we haven’t taken much time to prepare. We’ve prayed often for our staff, campers, safety, Christ to be at the helm of the summer, but we haven’t prayed much for us on a personal level. We need just as much, heck more, work as our campers and staff.

God, personally prepare us for this summer. Humble us. Teach us to lead. Break us down so we can built back up in You. Reveal Your truth in our life. Bring our sin to the surface. Draw us closer to You.

In the scheme of life, camp has value, but our individual walks with the Lord have more. It’s easy to forget that.

Personally preparing for summer (and hoping for a Thunder Game 7 win),

Camp packer

Letter #161: Do What I Hate to Do What I Love

Dear packing,

You stress me out. OK, stress might be a bit of an overstatement, but I can think of 9,000 things I’d rather do than you. Cleaning, organizing and procrastinating are all on that list, three things I don’t love, so obviously I’m not a huge fan of you. I drive to Tulsa tonight to fly to San Diego in the morning for family vacation, so you consumed last night. I couldn’t be more excited especially since San Diego is in my top five American cities to visit. The others, in case you’re wondering, are Chicago, DC, Seattle and the 5th is always kept open in case there’s a last minute place of interest! Soon, San Diego will have to be replaced! I digress.

You’re required in order for me to do one of the things in life I love most, traveling, so I’m not going to complain too much. However, let me explain a few of my qualms with you.

  • Laundry completed to have all options available.
  • Unpredictable weather causing the need for more outfits to accommodate anything.
  • Pictures lasting a lifetime, so taking outfits you want pictures in is key.
  • The what ifs: What if we go somewhere really nice? What if it gets hotter or colder than expected? I think through any situation and try to get items in for each.

Then, at the end of the process, it’s almost inevitable that I do too much of you and still forget something. You are a vicious cycle. A cycle I honestly loathe. After 10 weeks of trail for work, I should have this down. Vacation and work are two VERY different versions of you.

The truth of the matter is I may hate you, but I LOVE traveling. I’ll take the tradeoff. So last night, I had put you off long enough and took you by storm. For about 30 minutes, my bed was unidentifiable. Sorting, folding, pairing outfits. Deciding what was comfortable yet Cali…let’s be honest, I probably succeeded at comfort and failed miserably in trendy Cali.

All that being said, one more day of work and vacation is calling my name! When I forget the outfit selections for a minute, I get excited to spend quality time with my family and relax in Cali…plus, this is exciting…my first ever vacation from work and real world…these might even be better than being in school!

Doing what I hate to do what I love,

Terrible packer