Archive for the ‘Beginnings’ Category

Written by Rose Byler

When Dave Leonard and I arrived at camp three Saturdays ago (Sunday morning at 1:04 Goshen time, really), we unloaded the essentials from his overburdened pickup truck and promptly fell asleep in the staff house. We didn’t really stop to notice the various signs that camp had been left mostly untouched for a whole winter and we certainly didn’t stop to address any of those signs. It didn’t matter how dirty the floor was as long as the path to the bed was clear!

 In the days since then, we (along with Stan and Marilyn Kamp and Ruth Hartzler) have been doing just what we neglected late Saturday night – going through camp (Pine Ridge and Lakeside) and addressing all those little details that signal the shift from non-functional camp to functional. We’ve turned on water to all buildings and made repairs to hot water heaters, cleaned the entire kitchen and restocked it, cleaned and prepped all Lakeside cabins, repaired the mailbox, wrestled canoes hither and yon, cleaned and prepped the Lakeside yurt, inventoried gear, made monster batches of herbed cream cheese and hummus, cleared the Lakeside shore of debris, checked all smoke alarms and stoves, and SO MUCH MORE! The tasks are many and range from simple and monotonous to complex and even fun. Combined, I like to think of all these small things amounting to camp yawning, stretching, and sloughing off the dust that’s accumulated as it wakes from hibernation.Image

 It’s a treat to be able to participate in this part of camp life. It still very much feels like spring here in the north and with new life all around it’s hard not to draw parallels to the beginning of a new summer here at Wilderness Wind. As I go about my jobs, each day getting camp closer to ready, I wonder what this summer will bring. As I inventory gear, I wonder who will be cooking in those pots come June. What will their trip be like? It’s raining now… will it be raining then? As I fill salt and pepper shakers at Lakeside I wonder who will use them and what adventures they’ll have at Lake Armstrong. Maybe there will be a family vacation, or maybe it will be a solo retreat weekend filled with writing, paddling, and rest.


In our first morning meditation of the summer, I read an excerpt from “Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day” by Macrina Wiederkehr. I read from the second hour labeled “Dawn.” It seemed particularly fitting for a morning meditation as we prepared to shine morning light in the dark recesses of places not seen since last fall and as we prepared waken camp and join in the dance of the summer rhythm of camp. I’ll close with that now.

 “Dawn breaks through night shadows. Fading darkness makes way for morning light. Golden rays exchange places with shining stars. All of nature leaps from the tomb of sleep and death. Everything stirs with renewed life. It is the hour of joy – a little resurrection. Rising from sleep, I raise high the chalice of my life. Dressed in robes of joyful anticipation, I enter this day with an open heart. This is the awakening hour. This is the hour of praise. ‘O medicine of dawn; O healing drink of morning!’ Offering both words and silence, I join in the dance of creation. What will this day be like? Will I choose to walk through the hours mindfully? ‘To affect the quality of the day is the highest of arts,’ Henry David Thoreau tells us. And the mystical poet Jalaluddin Rumi reminds us, ‘The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you; don’t go back to sleep.’ Jesus says, ‘Stay awake.’” (p.47)



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Welcome to the summer staff of 2011.

John Bergen graduated high school last spring in Newton, Kansas and will attend to Oberlin College in the fall. He has spent the last year primarily in Chicago, San Antonio, and southwest Georgia, dividing his time between living in intentional community, farming, gardening, cooking, assisting refugees, reading, and working on his southern accent.

Rose Byler left home (Goshen, IN) three years ago to find anew home at Eastern Mennonite University where she is currently studying Social Work.  When not doing classwork to a Debussy sound track, Rose can be found biking, reading (novels and the hymnal mostly), running, doing laundry, and playing Uker.

Matthew Helmuth is a Goshen College student hailing from Goshen, IN. He plain ol’ loves Jesus and is committed to the Church. Matthew’s interests lie largely in the outdoors — biking, hiking, swimming, climbing, canoeing, spelunking, tying knots outside, sitting in a chair outside, and just about anything else. He also enjoys a good book and some good music. Lastly, he makes a mean pot of beef stew.

David Leonard hails from Oregon, and is currently living in Goshen. He applies his creative mind and skills at Chain Reaction Bicycle Project and as an independent contractor. Dave is often surrounded by lumber and will be joining us for part of the summer.

Luke Penner is an Indianapolis native with a love for the great outdoors. He spent four summers working at Camp Friedenswald in Cassopolis, MI, graduated from Goshen College, and more recently, spent a year in rural Guatemala teaching English. An avid birder, Luke is looking forward to spending time in the Boundary waters and exploring God’s creation.



Thank you to the year-round staff.

Mary Ruth Kamp enjoy’s creating with clay, cloth, and kindness.  You can find her running the country blocks (in Kidron, OH) , roller skating, or reading and drinking tea. She is excited to spend two weeks at Wilderness Wind and in the Boundary Waters this summer. Mary Ruth continues to work as the Publications Editor for Wilderness Wind.


Kathy Landis’ recent adventures include planting over 300 cloves of garlic, birding with her mom, and attending an adoption hearing. She has also rediscovered the joys of decluttering and often asks herself,”Do I want to “carry” this for the next 20 years?”  She looks forward to her 12th season as the Executive Director.

Brooke Wyssmann lives in St Paul and attends Thirdway Mennonite. She enjoys reading Smithsonian magazine and hopes to learn skate skiing next winter. Though she can’t make it up to camp this year, she plans to spend the summer sleeping in a tent in her backyard. Not quite a yurt, but the best she can do. We are grateful for Brooke’s willingness to continue working as an Administrative Assistant for Wilderness Wind.

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