Bookmark and Share

First Chiefs Ready for Task

February 1, 2011

By W. James Edminson

There always has to be a first. And when one begins something totally new, it is important to get the first right. Baptist Children’s Homes’ new wilderness camp for girls is a first, and BCH president Michael C. Blackwell chose the right director to be at the helm – Paul Daley.

“Paul has been key to the success of our boys camp program,” Blackwell says. “It has been a dream (a girl’s camp) we have both shared for many years. He is the right person now to lead Camp Duncan.”

Daley served as Cameron Boys Camp director for many years. Now as the director of the girl’s camp, Daley is again dedicated to having the right team in place. He began by bringing Adrian Thane from the boy’s camp as the first Groupwork Supervisor. Gwen Collins was selected as the camp’s first case manager.

Next, Daley took on the awesome task of choosing the first chiefs. He believes the task is critical to a good start.

Daley brought on board Katie Burnett, age 22, Arwen Hays, age 28, and Jennifer Simms, age 26, as Camp Duncan’s first chiefs.

“God has prepared each of us for this time,” Chief Jennifer says. “There is a huge difference in our stories. We come from different backgrounds and even from different parts of the country – but each one of us comes to this task as one.”

The chiefs feel they complement each other. The trio has been working together since last summer. They have helped construct the new campsite for the first girls. They have cut and shaved logs. They have cleared trails and set stones for the floor of the cook tent.

“Having this time together before the first campers arrive has been beneficial,” Chief Arwen says. “We are learning how to work together. We look out for each other. We are learning we all have different approaches, but equally good.”

The new chiefs are aware of the challenges. Living out in the elements – cold temperatures, rain and “bugs” – will not be easy.

“I’m not so worried about the cold; it’s the heat,” Chief Katie laughs. “But honestly, I believe the biggest challenge for us is to be what the girls need each day. ” Feeling that responsibility is balanced by each of the chief’s spirit for adventure. They look forward to trips, to teaching, and to seeing the girls learn that they are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

“I am confident that troubled girls and their families will find hope and healing at Camp Duncan,” Blackwell says. “I am confident our chiefs are ready for the task.”