So I beat the essay. I graduated college.
It was actually a month ago. I think I would have written more about it at the time, but the next day (THE NEXT DAY) I went to work at summer camp. For the fifth summer in a row. This means I get a free laptop bag as thanks.
It also means that I haven’t gotten to process the real world yet. That’s alright, though. Instead of mulling through the good times and grieving over the fact that they’re now past, I’ve been tossing myself headfirst against a giant brick wall of Program Directing. As in, Ben gets to make schedules and figure out how 2nd graders get from Blobbing to Archery to Horseback Riding. It requires powers of organization. Last I checked, I was trying my best to stay away from those powers. Winging it, of course.
It also requires me to supervise people. Not just counsel them (I did that with the kids: 2 summers). Not just senior-counsel them (I did that with the counselors: 1 summer). SUPERVISE them. As in, I am a boss.
I say “jump” and folks have to say “how high?” I say “coffee” and they ask “cream or sugar?” I say “both” and then my boss tells me to get back to work. And so on.
This isn’t what I set out to do. Supervising means that you have to be responsible for the people who work for you. It means you have to wisely excercise power. Either that, or John Maxwell and his small books that he sells in airports are full of horse hockey.
That’s not easy stuff. I didn’t have to worry about either of those things back at University. You only have to worry about that kind of stuff in the… oh, wait.
The Real World.
The best part of the past four weeks, though, was the Pink Eye I got on Sunday.
Now, at camp, Pink Eye can easily become epidemic. Mildly epidemic, and nothing near deadly, but parents sure hate it when their kids come home all itchy and watery-eyed. So, if you get the Evil Eye at camp, they give you medicated eyedrops and stick you in quarantine for 24 hours.
I spent mine in the stir with a copy of “The Stand” (the book I’d like most to conquer this summer) and 3 of my counselors, all of whom are studs. Our conversation was refreshing- I loved how they communicated their desire to be effective for Christ. Whether in counseling, in friendship, or even at a skate-park ministry… they were real about it. I miss that kind of enthusiasm. I feel like my attempts to even touch cultural relevance kill those desires.
But I realized something else, and this was HUGE for me: while I was cordoned off, camp was running just fine. As in, the presence of Ben Humeniuk mattered not one whit. Things still happened on time, campers still had fun, the world still rotated on its axis like usual. I had been so busy trying to be a good supervisor, trying to figure out my leadership and cover any exposed insecurities, that I honestly didn’t think that this would be the case. The program rides on the program director’s shoulders, right?
So my pride started to dissipate a little. And when I got sprung from quarantine, camp became something that I had missed for the previous four weeks: fun.
I still want time to process graduation. I mean, I have two friends who moved to a stinking foreign country just days after leaving Waco. I won’t see them for a year. I need to sit down and miss them for a few minutes, you know?
But until then, I think I’m in a good place to get my grow-up on. May the return of responsibility be a good one. May I not make Michael Scott look like a management genius by comparison.
And may I be enthused about my ministry. Because that Joy is my strength.