Grandparents often say, “if they knew how fun grandchildren were going to be, they would have had them first!” I do not have grandchildren yet, but for decades I have been locked in on a dream of attending family camp with them at Moon Beach. That vision has shepherded me through 20 years of service to United Church Camps, Inc. (UCCI). It is in that spirit that I offer some concluding thoughts as executive director:
To my grandchildren, whom I love dearly –
For 20 years it was my privilege to serve UCCI. It has been a big part of my life since birth! I have attended at least one UCCI event every year of my life … except for three. One was the year the Covid Pandemic did not allow for any gatherings. The second was the year your father/uncle Christian was born. (The Parliers should have heeded that advice! 😊) And the third, when I was two, because your great-grandma Millicent could not manage me … or so Edi Moore claims. Three years, that is it. I was so fortunate to live, work, and vacation in such sacred thin spaces!
I am proud of what our teams accomplished during my time in leadership. We charted a mission and ministry of love, grew that ministry to three sites, founded Camp AweSum, shored up an aging infrastructure with our Campital Campaign, and because of many incredibly generous people through the Keep the Fires Burning Campaign, lived to talk about it after the pandemic lifted. Lives were changed for the better.
I love the mission and ministry of UCCI. Building relationships with guests, volunteers, and supporters of our ministry were some of the greatest joys of my life. I was grateful to have been able to pass the torch on to an incredible team devoted to seeing UCCI flourish.
As with any position, I left UCCI in 2022 with unfinished work. I had always hoped that someday UCCI would find that pot of money that would free us to focus solely on loving and serving people. And while I still believe it is out there, I have realized that our collective generosity is just as powerful. People are AMAZINGLY generous and will gladly support an organization that focuses on loving and serving people in need. I do.
Kids, I cannot wait to get to Family Camp with you this year. Maybe I’ll dig out our old kool-aid-themed nametags; your great aunts were “Rootin Tootin Ruby” and “Jolly Ollie Julie”, I was “Goofy Grape Glenn.” Your great-grandma always had some cool ideas up her “left-handed” sleeve. Your great-grandpa Hank started this family legacy way back in the 1960s. That man sure knew what he was doing.
With all my love, Grandpa Glenn
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