Maximus is one of our boys’ favorite counselors. He wrestles a lot, isn’t frightened when all three of them leap out from behind the camp couch and pelt him with a barrage of Nerf darts, and he is very very patient.
Maximus is one of THE RETURNED.
Most counselors serve at Camas for a few summers during high school, until life catches up to them and they are forced to get real-live-paying-jobs in order to earn $ for college. Once in awhile one of them will finish college and then inexplicably return. This is always a glorious blessing beyond what we could ask for or expect.
After the Summer Staff Winter Retreat last week, Maximus wrote something on his facebook that made me realize I had to interview him and find out why he keeps coming back.
Maximus–“I finally get home from winter retreat and I’m laying in bed and it doesn’t quite feel right. Then I realize every time I leave Camas, I leave a little of me behind, which would be why it’s a tug on my heart to leave every time.”
I asked Maximus what his first memory at Camas Meadows was. He laughed. Scruffy and Camo Man walked up to him, picked him up off the back porch, carried him off, and threw him into the dunk tank. He said, “Now that I think about it, events like that help break down our barriers and get us out of our boxes.”
About his years as a camper Maximus told me–“My relationship with God grew mainly through Camas, and without it I would probably be leading a very different life. Camas helped me through my parents splitting. It helped me through rough years at school. I don’t think I could count on my hands and toes how many times Camas has brought me back to the right path.”
Maximus was a camper for about five summers before he became one of our camp counselors. When asked about serving the kids as a boys counselor he said–” When I was a counselor it was amazing to know that the kids I was leading looked up to me and looked to me for help. Having gone through hard times myself it made it easier to level with kids who had a rough time.”
Maximus is amazing to watch. He is so good with kids. He is great with my boys, as well as with campers, and counselors, and other camp staff. He manages to be fun, tough, honest, gentle, and real all at once. He has blessed both those he comes to serve and those who have the privaledge of serving with him. Maximus is both part of the reason we serve and part of who God has allowed us to become. We gave to him, but he has given back to us so much more than we ever expected. Thank you Maximus. For the years of wrestling and mayhem, thoughtful honesty and sacrifice, and giving us the honor of walking this journey together.
Maximus–“Camas is a safe haven for many people. One I have not found anywhere else.”