Stephen Covey writes about the Knowledge-Worker age in his book titled The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. He believes Western culture needs to adjust its perspective on human resources. For example, if youâ€™re familiar with any accounting software package like QuickBooks or Peachtree, youâ€™ll notice that buildings and equipment are considered capital. Payroll, however, is considered expense.
In an age of relationships, in which Google, a company whose only notable capitalâ€”besides the buildings they ownâ€”are servers, we must begin to recognize the significance of the employee, at all levels. Employees freed to use their minds and creativity, working in organizations and jobs that they care about and are good at can change the world. When we free people to frame their work in a way that makes sense to them, we allow them to become integrated. This integration of being or personhood results in the development of voiceâ€”someoneâ€™s ability to know what they want and say what they mean. In a Christ-following organization these employees who are released to find their voice can build the Kingdom and do more than change the world. They will change paradigms, hearts gaining clarity of vision that brings focus and fulfillment.
Bethany Birches has been investing more intentionally in its facilities, staff, program, board and campers. Last year we experienced a 16.4% growth in attendance over the prior summer. As a statement of faith and hope for the years to come, we have made a decision to hire a year-round program director. This decision will require a total additional investment of $50,000 over the next three years. For years, different board members and parents have talked about the need to connect with our campers on a more regular basis, not only during summer. Young Life has set a good example in this area. Many traditional religious camps rely on the churches they are connected to for the relationships with campers to continue. Many of our campers, however, do not attend church and we are not Young Life. How then, can we continue to plant seeds in these kidsâ€™ lives after they leave summer camp? We have been running snow camps for almost 20 years as a way to reconnect with kids who are here during the summer. Recently, weâ€™ve started envisioning ways to keep in touch with the teens of the area throughout the year through semi-monthly gatherings.
Why keep in touch with campers during the year? There are only about 600,000 people in the state of Vermont. This amounts to roughly 65 people per square mile. Simply put, there are not a lot of people around. Teens often talk about their desire to connect with other teens like them. Iâ€™ve heard many teens here at camp talk about the need to find good role models and positive influences. These desires motivate their return to camp year after year. If we have the capacity to help youth build relationships with each other and continue to build on the experience and spiritual growth they have here during the summer, why not explore these opportunities?
Soon after I came to Vermont, a Young Life guru in the area told me â€œBethany Birches Camp has made a bigger impact on the lives of the youth in the Upper Valley (a region in Vermont and New Hampshire) than any other one organization.â€ I believe we can continue to make a difference in the lives of the children and teens of Vermont and the surrounding region. Our board believes that hiring a program director will give us the staff capacity to follow more faithfully wherever God is leading. What is your situation calling you toward (Matthew 16:1-4)?