Summer is fast approaching and the weather is finally starting to act like it. The sun has been shining, the rain has been visiting less often, flowers have bloomed and the heat is rising. And warm weather means warm weather activities. Alongside our softball games, we've also started a few other outdoor sports and recreation pass times such as tennis and finally putting plants in our garden. This means there are no more plants in my room and I must admit, I kind of miss the earthy smell. But I digress...
Summer is also a time when all of us here in the Elgin BVS house are fairly busy with our positions. All four of us have our summer pretty much booked solid with a few of us not getting to be home for more than a few days at a time. Here's a brief overview of what we've all got to look forward to in the upcoming months:
Don's taking the road less traveled!
(And by that I actually mean I-80 and I-65)
Don kicks off the summer driving to New Windsor, Maryland for the Summer BVS orientation this year. While there, he will spend 3 weeks helping a new group of volunteers get ready to start their year of service. After that, he gets about one day to gather his wits before heading out to Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan with the rest of the BVS team to represent Brethren Volunteer Service and sit in on some very important and most likely heated business sessions. Later in the summer, Don heads south to Brentwood, Tennessee to lead a Brethren Disaster Ministries workcamp. BDM is responding to the severe flooding Tennessee went through last May. Don's first year of service with BVS was with BDM in Chalmette, Louisiana responding to hurricane Katrina so I think he'll enjoy getting back to his roots for a week.
Clara's got her head in the clouds!
(And her hands on some free peanuts)
Summer is prime time for work camps and Clara will be leading a good number of them. She starts things off with a nice drive to Young Adult Conference. Then she goes back to the everyday excitement of the office for a few days before hopping on a plane to Taizé, France for work camp number one on her list. Next, she flies to Puerto Rico for three weeks to lead a couple of work camps there. After soaking up some sun, she jets over to Nashville, Tennessee for two weeks to lead a couple of Brethren Disaster Ministries work camps responding to the flooding there last May. Then she heads south to Reynosa, Mexico to lead a work camp down there before heading to Florida for the ECHO work camp. After a long summer of work camps, she gets to come back to Elgin for a few days and even take in a Cubs game before she heads back to Virginia to attend Vet School.
Carol's soaring high!
(On a plane, of course)
Carol's got a full load planned this summer. Carol's summer time adventures begin soon with a trip to Young Adult Conference at Camp Inspiration Hills in Ohio. After the fun filled three day weekend, she returns to the office for 2 or 3 days before flying out to Taizé, France for her first work camp. She'll then get a short break in Baltimore to be with some family before going to the John Kline Homestead work camp. Then she heads out to Broadway, Virginia for a week before going to Greenville, Ohio for the work camp there. Then she jumps over to Kalamazoo, Michigan work camp followed by a work camp in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Then she boards a plane to the Virgin Islands for a work camp in Saint Croix. She'll then show up in Roanoke, Virginia (sporting the new tan she will have gotten at the beaches at Saint Croix) for a work camp before finally finishing up at the Brooklyn, New York work camp. And somewhere in the middle of that mess she will also be at Annual Conference where she will probably be treating me to ice cream.
I'm hitting the road!
(And I'm hitting it hard. Road rash anyone?)
My summer shenanigans start shortly when I'll be going to Young Adult Conference. There I'll not only be a participating young adult but I'll also be leading a workshop about BVS along side our staff recruiter, Katherine. Next I'll be flying out to California to advocate on behalf of BVS at a family camp in Mount Lassen. Not long after my triumphant return, I'll be heading up to Annual Conference with the rest of the BVS team. There, aside from sitting in on business sessions and eating ice cream, Katherine and I will be spending a day with the Jr. High and Sr. High youth as they head out on a service day. Then I go from one camp to the next. Camps on my list so far include Camp Emmaus in Illinois, Camp Alexander Mack in Indiana and maybe a few camps out East.
Unfortunately, the way our schedules are, we will see very little of each other this summer since we always seem to be out when someone else is in and we won't all four be together until the end of it. So although we embark on our adventures with anticipation and excitement, we carry with us a note of somberness. But hey, luckily we all have cell phones and the internet!
You'll still be hearing from us all summer, don't you worry. See you around, everybody and happy summer to you all!