Fight, flight, freeze – three reactions to stress; or, better, three reactions to not knowing what the heck we’re going to do if we cannot run camp this summer (#we’realldoomed, or #we’realloverracting). The problem is that every circumstance requires a different response, and we each have our favorite, the default that we go to almost every time. That means that there is a 2/3rds chance that we’re doing the wrong thing. So how do we adapt and thrive when everything is changing? How do we choose the right reaction to meet a new circumstance? Two ideas:
- Curiosity. What do you do when you run up on a bear? The real answer: it depends on the bear. Yes, there’s a list of things you should and should not do, but before you go down that list you should start by 1) staying calm and 2) watching to see what the bear is going to do next. Every bear is different and if you are curious enough you might see something that keeps you from overreacting, or underreacting. If we pay attention and approach this Covid mess with an optimistic curiosity, we’re going to make better decisions. Our people need us to make better decisions.
- Love. Tod Bolsinger says “love precedes change.” He was speaking about helping his church make a cultural change but I think the same is true of helping our camps adapt to spring of 2020. Yesterday I spent a few minutes looking at our staff board. We post pictures of every counselor hired, and sometimes stare at the empty spots. I was embarrassed to realize that I have started looking at this as a board of accomplishments and pictures of resources. But yesterday I remembered that I do not love building a great camp, I love seeing the people pictured on this board grow in their skills, faith and character so their campers will grow in their skills, faith and character. I seriously get a lump in my throat when I say that out loud.
So now, reminded of our mission, I am ready to pay attention with optimistic curiosity, not overreact or underreact, and make better decisions. And that is worth my time because campers need camp now more than ever.