Have you met Tyson? He's been hanging around the LEAD kids for the summer. Here's the chat that he and Brandon had, flaming swords and all.
Brandon: Hi Tyson.
T: How's it going Brandon?
B: It's going good. Yourself?
T: Doing good.
B: Alright. So, I've just got a couple of questions here.
B: Would you mind telling us how you started coming to camp? I know this story, because I was here, but the people who are reading this won't.
T: Okay. I knew Wendy, previously, who is the executive director here at Salem Acres and I was fairly close with her son Matthew, we grew up and went to school together. I was actually attending a funeral of one of my friends and Wendy was also in attendance, and after the funeral I saw Wendy and we caught up, and she was like: "Hey Tyson, come work at camp." And I was like: "You know what? Why not." So, yeah. Wendy came to me at a funeral and offered me a job.
B: *Chuckling* Alright. So, that's what got you started coming here.
B: But... you came back!
T: I did.
B: Yeah. And it probably wasn't because Wendy met you at a funeral again.
B: If so, it would be a pretty bad year for you. So, what motivates you to return to camp? Why did you decide to come back?
T: Well, the reason why I came to camp in the first place, and why I choose to come back is because I have a firm belief that we need to keep training and discipling others. And that's something that I am very passionate about. I'm very passionate about discipling young people, and descipling them to become not just Christians but followers of Jesus for the rest of their lives. And I think that Salem Acres is a really good place to do that, and to experience that and see growth.
B: So, what would be your favorite part of camp. I assume part of the previous thing is in there, but I want to check.
T: I guess yeah. Obviously the activities and everything is really fun. I enjoy the activities and having fun, but I also really enjoy the opportunities to mentor, the opportunities to see some of the teenagers and kids that come to camp here grow. Seeing them grow throughout the summer is something that's really cool.
B: Is there any way... well, I know for me personally, being at camp, that I've experienced a lot of personal growth. I've had a lot of situations that stretch me, push me and then people built me back up again so that I could grow as a person. Are there any areas in your life that you feel like you've grown as a result of being at camp?
T: Absolutely. I think that, you know, the pastor always says that they are the one that learns the most when they do a sermon, right? Because they have to learn the most. It's the same way that, when I'm mentoring someone, I learn more about things from me mentoring. It's something that I learn more in than the actual person I'm mentoring. I think that's definitely a part of an area where I've grown and learned more, and also being able to develop my leadership skills.
B: Awesome. So, on the subject of discipling others, obviously we both everything about the LEAD program and what you do here,
T: Um hm.
B: but the folks at home may not. So, if you can just do a brief explanation, what is LEAD, and what do you actually do in it?
T: Sure thing. So LEAD is a 6 week program, I think they are going to be revamping it next year, but it's a program where teenagers, ages 15 to 18, senior teen, they experience the life of a camper for the first week. From that point on they are in an intensive program to help them learn skills, encounter god, accept guidance and disciple others. It's kind of a chain reaction of they're being trained for the next generation essentially. Really what LEAD is about is to empower the teenagers to really grow in their faith, to take ownership in their faith and to take them from just a christian who is maybe a little lukewarm to somebody who is on fire for God.
B: Awesome. And... I think that's all the stuff that I have written down. Just thought I'd check though... I always hear lots of crazy stories about stuff that happens in LEAD.
B: They go around.
T: They go around?
B: Good and bad.
T: *Laughs very loudly*
B: Is there one story, just briefly, that you would be willing to share?
T: Oof... *Laughs again* There have been quite a few fun ones. One thing that happened this year was on the outrip, which is a week in LEAD that we go out to the in Banff or Kananaskis and we go hiking for 5 days and do a backpacking trip, when we were out there the kids really got into whittling and woodcarving and stuff like that, so one of the LEAD kids decided that he wanted to make a wooden sword. So he made a wooden sword with the help of James, one of the leaders, and then he put some fire paste on the wooden sword and lit it so it was a fire sword. I think that was a really fun experience.
B: I'm looking at a picture of that now that Jordan is showing me,
T: Oh yes the wooden one...
B: that looks blatantly unsafe, but pretty awesome.
T: It is pretty fantastic.
B: That's actually pretty crazy.
T: It was pretty fun.
B: Alright. Well, that you very much for your time Tyson.
T: For sure, thanks man. *High pitched voice* Thanks Brandon!