In North Orange, Massachusetts, if you really want to know.
Camp Selah (pronounced by these particular parishioners "SEE-lah") is a tiny little camp on the shores of a manmade lake at the foot of Mount Tully, and I spent the better part of two weeks there. The church I've moved to runs a two-week day camp there, but there are cabins and a main lodge and a bath-house, so most of the staff (and some staff-related kids) stayed overnight.
I'm not going to lie. I missed my new bed.
But . . . I'm really excited about working for the church. On Wednesday of the second week, about seven different incidents occurred all at once, and I had the combined dreaded yet strangely affirming experience of trying (alongside the young woman who's managed the camp the last few years) to enact a little discipline, and nip a few situations in the bud. They weren't very welcome situations, but I was encouraged to know I wasn't necessarily just going to cave in over everything. On the other hand, I had numerous moments of thinking, "What in the world am I doing? I don't know these people. They don't know me." It felt decidedly like culture shock and, also like culture shock, I suspect I'm going to feel like that on and off for a while as I learn the ropes.
The people are really lovely. They're warm and welcoming . . . and a little bit wrung out. The church hasn't had the easiest time in the last few years. That in itself is intimidating. On Sunday I wondered aloud if someone might be able to help me move a couch to my new office (I have an office?!), and they showed up that afternoon and moved it for me. Everyone is so accommodating and eager to please that it makes me feel like I have a lot of expectations to live up to. What if I don't please? What if I let them down?
But it isn't really about me, is it? I have a feeling I'm going to get reminded of that a lot over the next few months, in kind ways and difficult ones, whether I want to or not. For now, I might as well try not to take myself too seriously.
I don't think these guys would let me, anyway.
"Selah," "Muffin-bed," and "Wacky-Wednesday Kids" by jennw2ns 2008.
"Jennwith2ManyBells" might have been by Deb Parks. Or Jean Lunt. I can't really remember.