In Memory of… Bill Gardner #193

On page 3 of the spring 2013 Deerfoot Tracks: “Contributions have been received in memory of …   Bill Gardner.”

Bill was a DL camper, and then a Woodsman counselor for the summers of 1986, 1987, 1988.

In the staff lounge is a bound, 365 page volume of the selected verses with brief commentary for each day of the year – with Bill’s written responses – including through staff training and summer camp. This discipline and what he wrote give insight into Bill’s thinking, into the desires of his heart.  We learned he did this from his parents, after he died.

Now when Daniel learned that the decree (pray only to King Darius for 30 days) had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.  Daniel 6:10

Bill had a congenital hip problem – he walked with a limp, and was frequently in pain – though this pain was never obvious, and he only spoke of it in response to specific questions about his hip or pain level.  He was a Woodsmen counselor who played the games aggressively – so much so that I had to ask him to turn down his intensity a bit.  Every week of summer camp he led Woodsmen canoe trips and sometimes hikes.

Bill was head of Wildlife and on a dark night of each session, after taps, Bill would meet a significant number of campers and staff to teach them about what they were seeing in the night sky.  From the Lookout, Sally Jo and I could hear Bill teaching about the constellations…and so much more!

I have in my head a picture of Bill taken during one of his many skits on banquet night.  100% involvement.

The illustrations Bill used in his cabin devotions were often talked about by his campers and others.  He communicated God’s truths in memorable ways.

Bill married Heidi, who worked one summer on staff, and he became a school teacher.  Soon thereafter, on his way to the school where he taught, Bill was killed in a car accident.   Those who knew him were stunned!!!  Contributions continue to be made to the camper scholarship fund established in Bill’s name by his family.

What will be remembered about me…and you?

That we spent time alone with the Lord every day – reading the Bible, thinking through the passage and recording our thoughts?

That, in spite of our physical limitations, and perhaps pain, we pushed the edges of our limitations, bringing encouragement to those who knew us?

That we shared our knowledge in a way that brought understanding to those who wanted to learn from us?

That we communicated God’s truths with a thankful heart, a joyful spirit?

I know Bill Gardner lived In Partnership With God!

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. II Timothy 4:7-8

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