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Dear Firs Family and Friends,

Sometimes I grow weary with how complicated directing a ministry such as The Firs has become. No, that is not correct. Many times I feel that way. Maybe it’s a matter of longing for simpler days. Maybe it’s just pure frustration that you have to jump through so many hoops, fill out seemingly endless forms and flat-out keep up with every nuance of the law, just to take a step forward. And if that is not enough, you need to look out for a score of interest groups determined to make sure you don’t step over the line that they have conveniently drawn for their best interests. Gone are the days (if, in fact they ever did exist) where you can simply determine the best course to take and then take it. Instead we live in an era of multiplying regulations, layers of liability, specialization…okay, okay – I’ll stop whining. I know it’s not that bad.

The thing is that what we do at camp is simple by the very nature of it. We like to run around outdoors and play. We like to practice creativity and learn new skills. We love to have fun and to do so with others. We enjoy simple pleasures like campfires and s’mores, swimming and boating, singing and laughing, and not taking ourselves too seriously.

We love it when we trade in our environment of classroom, office space, commuter traffic, over-loaded schedules and insufficient paychecks for cool summer breezes, energizing hikes with incredible views, the smell of evergreen trees, and majestic sunsets. Camp life feeds the soul like nothing else.

Okay, I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir, so what’s the point? Well, the point is to not lose the simplicity in the midst of the complexity, because it’s there! This summer at Firwood and Fircreek, for instance, thousands will opt for the simple. They will come and enjoy and laugh and listen and slow down and be challenged, and that will happen their first day. And they will be loved without fear and without strings attached. They will encounter Jesus; not from a textbook or sermon as much from a lifestyle, a simple story and a caring relationship. They will see God and, if they are willing, will hear what He longs to tell them – that He loves them and wants to be their God, meet their needs and invite them into His family. It’s not rocket science. It’s plain, uncomplicated truth. And while it doesn’t only happen at camp, it tends to happen a little easier here. So, here’s to enjoying the simple in the midst of the complex. I’m convinced it is what God intends for us.

In His simple service,

Tom Beaumont, Executive Director

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