Slowing Down and Staying Connected
Lately, I’ve realized that I pretty regularly follow social distancing guidelines. Monday through Friday has always been spent with my fellow office staff, and they continue to be that way. My weekends used to be filled with hosting and/or seeing friends. Since neither of those things can happen right now, my weekends have changed. But even though I still spend my weekdays with the same people, my day to day work has changed. We’ve been trying to figure out what we can do to help those who aren’t used to living like camp staff. The people who have more to entertain than themselves and their cat. Those who aren’t able to work during this time. Those who nothing but time on their hands.
So what does that look like? Well, the most visible thing we’ve been doing to stay connected is daily video posts on our Facebook and Instagram pages. We try to mix it up a little each day. Sometimes we post songs, sometimes tours, sometimes crafts or other activities. (View all the new videos HERE) If nothing else, we can give you something to do for at least five minutes of your day.
Personally, I’ve been trying to dedicate more time and effort to relationships – or at least a different kind of effort since I can’t just go out and see my friends every week. So I’ve been doing this in a few different ways, and some are more long term than others.
One night last week, I got out all of my old cards from campers, SOS (Strengths Others See) books, notes from past summers, etc. I read through them all while playing some worship music in the background. As I did this, I naturally cried at all of the happy memories that were brought up, but I also prayed for each person that wrote whatever I was reading. I reflected on those individual relationships and how much those people mean to me. I also thought about some people I haven’t talked to in maybe a couple of years and decided to reach out to them and catch up a little.
Another thing I’ve been doing has me spending a lot of time in The Bible App (the YouVersion one). Depending on the day, I use this one app in a variety of ways. There’s always a verse of the day. I can highlight verses I want to come back to. Create verse images. Add notes. Read plans. The options are endless. This app is also a bit of a social media platform, so I’ve added all of my friends. I can see what plans they’re doing or what they’re highlighting. My favorite, though, is that I can go through and read plans with them. Each plan varies in length but has a devotional and at least one related verse for each day of the plan. If you choose to complete one with a friend, there’s also a section where you can each write your commentary and have a discussion. I liked this long before social distancing, but it’s become even more important to me since then.
So ultimately what I’m saying is pick something that makes you happy to work on and dedicate at least a little time each day to that thing. Whether it’s deeply meaningful or simply learning a new talent, do something to keep you sane in this wild time. When we could easily be consumed by fear and anxiety about the unknown, find at least one thing to keep you grounded. Build yourself and others up. Find a piece of camp you can bring home. Stay positive. We’ll get through this together.
Ewalu Assistant Program Director