Spring or Summer or something in between came to us this week. We saw 80 degrees, for the first time this year, I believe. The songbirds came out in earnest, and there were layers of songs floating through the air. The office is excited, because we had a brand new phone system installed, and we really got to begin playing with it this week. Now, each of us have voice mailboxes and easy transfer options. I have written much fewer notes this week for unavailable staff. It’s such an exciting feeling to be able to say, “would you like their voicemail?”
Of course, with new systems there are glitches and learning curves. There is a strange buzzing noise at the Conference Center. The sound is definitely one that’s been there before, but it’s more prominent now. Before, it had been a noise you’d notice just before a lightening strike. It would decide for a few days to buzz, then quiet down. It is a constant buzz now. There are phones ringing that shouldn’t ring. And, we still don’t know exactly how to use all the buttons correctly. A few days ago, Martha came to my office and asked if I’d show her how to transfer a call directly to someone’s voicemail, rather than sending it to their phone to ring several times. If you can master this skill, you’ll avoid interrupting someone who’s on the other line by making their phone ring over and over. So, Martha came to my office, hoping for guidance, and I told her that I had not figured it out either.
We opted to practice by coming up with an elaborate scheme where one of us called the camp, the other answered, then tried to transfer the call, when lo and behold someone called us. I answered and asked her if she’d be willing to help us with a little experiment. She sounded very reluctant, as she was just calling to ask a registration question. She was a good sport, though, and consented to let us try our theories on how to send someone to voicemail. I tried my first idea, and luckily it worked. Her call went straight to Vickie’s voicemail without ringing her phone, and Martha and I high-fived and shouted, “wooo hooo!” Our generous experiment subject even called back to let us know that it had worked.
It has been relatively quiet around the office, as holy week should be. The calls have been minimal and all the hustle bustle of spring retreat and summer camp planning have slowed to a much more relaxed pace. The one event looming over the office is summer staff interviews. We will have a wealth of young college-age kids coming to Lakeshore this Saturday to try to earn a spot on the 2010 Summer Staff. It’s an exciting, nerve-racking time for everyone involved. We are excited about the potential we see for the summer. We are excited about how this tells us that summer will be here soon. We are also apprehencious. We know we cannot hire everyone. We know people will come with hopes of specific positions that we will not hire them for. There are many emotions swirling around for all of us.
I’ve spent a lot of time this week reading applications and trying to prepare myself to make all the decisions that will need to be made on Saturday. With the weather being as it has, I could not keep myself in my office. I went out to the boy’s side vesper area to read applications. I kicked off my shoes and let the sun shine on my feet. I could see the river, hear water rolling up on the shore. There were boats going by in the background. Bees and flies, birds and butterflies passed by me as I read about these applicants’ trainings, hopes, accomplishments, and aspirations. Another time, I went out to Tent and Trailer, and sat on the big bridge that cars will be driving across soon to drop Wilderness Campers off for a week of camp. I could see and hear the creek, running very nicely now because of the recent rain. In these spots, trying to picture these applicants, among the spring warmth, I could envision the summer that is to come. Soon there will be the sounds of children and youth running and playing. You will hear the music playing at the pool from far away. You will hear the lawn mower trying to keep the grass at bay. Some of these applicants will be the ones keeping this thing going. During these quiet times, we are gathering up our strength, taking in these thoughts. We are preparing for what we be done and can only hope we do something pleasing. Until it is time, we will rest in these thoughts of past, future, and today.
Be in prayer for everyone involved in interviews. Some applicants will be very nervous. There will be applicants hired and unhired who need prayer that they can fulfill their calls. The interview team will be making decisions that impact many people for years to come. Keep us in your thoughts.