Randy came to serve as the camp cook for the summer. He was a reasonably good cook, an excellent cook considering the fact that his kitchen consisted of 4 home type refrigerators, 4 chest freezers, and the stove/griddle/oven unit and huge mixer from the old camp in an unfinished building without air conditioning. He had not worked with any of the food vendors and he had no experienced help.
Randy started the summer cooking for 30 staff members under a 12′ X 12′ tarp. By summer’s end he was cooking for 150 in one end of the future craft building. He never complained. I am sure his physical toughness from being a wrestler enabled him to survive – while preparing good food meal after meal, day after day.
None of the staff had ever worked together before. In fact every staff person was new to the situation, including me. I had never directed a camp before. Monty, who was 22, had been program director at the old camp and knew his position well. He was the only staff member who did.
It was a tough summer, as you can imagine. I was not focused on good management technique, but on being sure the campers had a wonderful, safe experience. This was a real challenge with a new staff, unproven horses, copper heads in the camp (we killed 28 during the summer), scorpions in the buildings, and snakes in the lake. We not only survived, but the campers had such a good time that they returned the next summer, bringing their friends.
When camp ended and we were shutting down for a couple months so more of the camp could be completed, Randy asked for a few minutes when we could talk together. Soon we had the one-on-one time he requested.
Randy gave me a carefully chosen stick with a knob on the end – fastened by two leader strips to a weathered board two feet long.
Randy explained that it was to represent Moses’ Rod, and was to remind me that there were times when it was not necessary for Moses to hit the rock to bring forth water. All that Moses had to do was speak to the rock. He went on to say, “Chuck, there are times when only a few words are necessary to make your point.”
I have kept his gift hanging on the wall of my office – a constant reminder from a gentle servant.