“this is our director, joel. he runs camp… like a BOSS.”

the braves are stacked this year.

words cannot express how excited i am to have them all in the unit. kellie and i have been talking about how much God has blessed us with such an amazing group of people. each day, it seems, brings more blessing from Him in the form of love, laughter, and closeness between the brave counselors.


it started off in the best of ways. the unit reveal (which we came up with at 2:30 the previous morning) involved separating all counselor pairs into two buses. one bus started in river, and the other in lake. one by one, each counselor was dropped off at their cabin, without knowing who their partner was until they were dropped off from the other bus.

everyone was stoked.


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the best part was watching from the bus as people found out who was on their porch with them. so much excitement and laughter. on the cabin doors, there were signs that told the brave counselors to meet at river village chapel once their partner arrived. instead, all the braves went from cabin to cabin, cheering as each counselor left the bus. then we all went to chapel together.

i’d say it was a good sign.

at chapel we got to know our partners and introduced them to the rest of the unit.

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kellie and i knew the moment we had chosen everyone that they would be rockstars, but seeing them all together, interacting and laughing with their partners, was better than we could have imagined. we shared many looks that day. to say that we’re lucky to be these guys’ coords is an understatement.

but it didn’t end there! we went to fort disco to talk through questions, characteristics of the brave unit, and some things to expect as counselors.

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look at those beautiful people. each and every one of them are amazing people.

throughout the rest of the week, we got to spend time together as a unit. on thursday we went to the 12-foot wall and climbed it together. there are no handholds or other things to assist us; we had to work together to get everyone over.


we got over in twenty minutes. every single one of us. it was so cool to hear them encouraging each other and supporting each other. at one point, dillon had made it up to the top, but then decided to jump back down because it would be easier for the whole group to make it up if he waited til later. that’s the kind of thoughtfulness and selflessness that seems to define these people. there will be days when frustration and exhaustion sets in, but we’re setting such a solid foundation that both kellie and i are confident and excited for the future.

that night all of river village crammed into a bus and drove down to river. we talked about what we wanted river village to look like this year, and how we wanted it to be an authentic summer. we wanted to be real with each other and real with our kids. we talked about filters we sometimes put up that prevent people from knowing us. it was heavy and really thought provoking, but everyone was really on the same page. i don’t think i’ve ever been part of a staff like this before. i am beyond excited.


then we went on our sleepouts! the braves went to the pine forest in hammocks! i think i’ve mentioned before how much i love that place. we did the bead devotion and shared stories with each other. there were tears, there was a lot of laughter and smiling, and there was a lot a lot a lot of love.

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on friday we decided to make friendship bracelets because why not. we’re brave counselors, we like being friends, and everyone deserves to have one. we drew names out of a fanny pack and we’ll be surprising each other with friendship bracelets for the next week or so. i’m a fan.


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have i mentioned how much i love these people? they are amazing. i’m so excited for the summer, because i know that they’re going to love the kids in their cabins and make their camp experiences ones to remember for a lifetime. God’s going to do some pretty awesome things.

in fact, He’s already started.

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3 thoughts on ““this is our director, joel. he runs camp… like a BOSS.”

  1. jhough61 says:

    What a great overview of some special people horse! It’s going to be a summer to remember for sure! LYH!!

  2. cmac420 says:

    Ahhhh Brad I’m so excited for you! You’re gonna have a great summer 🙂

  3. Ellen Coval says:

    I am Kellie’s mom and now I understand why she thinks you are so amazing! You two and the Braves will have an awesome summer! God Bless you all

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