Nobody Goes Hungry at Lake Ann. There’s More Through the Door!
If you haven’t heard yet, Brent Swensen is coming back! Brent, known around the camp as Chefy, is kind of a legend. Legend has many definitions, but the one that best applies here is: an extremely famous person.
What makes Chefy a legend at Lake Ann Camp? It’s not that he has prepared nearly one million camper meals over the nine years he served here – although that might be a distinguishing factor. What makes Chefy a legend is his heart. He loves the phrase: Love people…cook them tasty food. In that phrase is the heart of what comes naturally to Chefy and that is love. Sure, in the kitchen there are long days… long hot days and lots of dishes to do when each meal is over. Sure there is ordering, storing, preparing and clean up each and every meal but that is not what gets this legend out of bed! His vision is much larger than the food he serves. Brent’s heart beats for every camper to experience all that God has for them at Lake Ann Camp.
Feeding a pleasing meal is more than a task to check off the list. It’s an opportunity three times a day to show that we care. When a camper likes the food they are served, has plenty to eat, and walks out of the dining hall happy and satisfied he/she will be more receptive to all of the other aspects that makes camp a place where life-change happens. Conversely, when a camper leaves the dining hall unhappy or hungry that in turn, sets the tone for a camper to be distracted from the reason the Lord brought them here in the first place.
One other aspect that makes Brent Swensen a legend at Lake Ann Camp is the atmosphere he creates around him. Those here when Chefy served with us will remember his “Nobody Goes Hungry at Lake Ann” song. Yes, he made up a song and he was more than happy to call seconds by singing his famous tune. Meal time is an important and social time, not merely a task. The workers under Chefy’s care seemed to understand this and they bought into his love for laughter, joy and conversation to the dining hall and that spilled over to the camper experience.
If that was not enough, there are former kitchen workers, under Chefy’s watch, who are living their lives for God largely because they were mentored by him in many ways. For many who served here with Chefy it was their first full time job. They learned not only a love for hard work but how to work not for man, but for God. Verses like Ephesians 6:6: Not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bond-servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart were a part of the training and mentoring that took place. Serving a tasty meal for Chefy is simply a part of doing the will of God.
Mentoring young staff, serving great food, creating an atmosphere of joy and celebration are all a part of what makes Lake Ann Camp the place to discover life at its best! From my heart to every camper that will eat in our dining hall, I want all of you to know that I am truly grateful that God has blessed us with Brent Swensen’s return. Your prayers for him as he seeks to lead and guide his staff this summer will be greatly appreciated. Don’t forget to make plans to join us September 1-2 for the A.R.C. Grand Opening Celebration. That weekend will be about great times and great eats as we prepare to reach the next generation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!