Dear Firs Family and Friends,
In my last letter to you I talked about the value of staff in an organization like ours and about how each staff member leaves a mark after their time here – and for some, that mark is more of a legacy. I promised to share with you about three such “legacy leavers” and began last month with Rob Lee (click here if you missed that one). At this time I would like to tell you a little about Jan Morell who retired at the end of the year.
Like Rob, Jan has served at The Firs for over 20 years. Most of those years have been as the Director of Guest Services. Guest Services around camps and retreat centers like The Firs is all about caring for the groups and, in particular, the people who come to our grounds. Almost all of these groups come here for the opportunity to get away from their routines, enjoy the beauty of God’s creation and to hear from Him. And so, when they do, we serve them. This means providing good food they don’t have to prepare or clean up after, it means nice, comfortable rooms and well equipped meeting areas. It means recreational options including (during the summer) a fully serviced waterfront. But mostly, this means that we make their stay here enjoyable and free of distractions so that their purposes can be achieved. As it is described at times, we are in the business of “clearing the path to the Cross” for them. And that makes what we do very important and totally in line with our mission of having people encounter Jesus.
If you are a detail oriented person you can be successful at Guest Services and Jan was certainly good at the details. If you are a “people person” you can be successful as well and, without doubt, Jan was good with people. But Jan was the best at being a “relationship building person.” The retreat leaders that she worked with became her friends. She cared for them personally and even pampered them as she stepped up to meet the needs of their groups. She was there for them before, during and after their retreat and simply made their jobs much easier.
It wasn’t just that Jan was good at doing the job of serving. She very effectively established a level of service for her team to follow and passionately demanded that they maintain it. Her constant setting the bar high has become now the norm – the modus operandi – of The Firs. We will miss her presence and her smile around here. But,it is comforting to know that her legacy will continue.
Serving Him together,