Brian is our Facilities Director at Charis Camp! Get to know this busy man with a big smile below!
What have you been up to @Charis over the years, Brian?
I've been involved with the camp since 2007, doing everything from washing dishes and cutting carrots to cleaning rooms and cabin leading to training staff. I have worked here full time since 2012. First as Program director from 2012 until 2016 and since then as the Site Director. I'm responsible for making sure everything around site is working and ready for the groups when they arrive and for planning ahead to new needs and expansion!
You must love #chariscamplife! Tell us what's to love?
I love the "aha" moments when staff,campers and guests have an opportunity to learn something new about Jesus and when I get to stand back and see all the pieces that God has put in place work together.
What is life @home like for you?
My wife and I have been married for 4 years. We met, got engaged and were married at Charis and we live here now. We love to spend time together going on drives, walks, hikes, just anything that involves being together. Personally, I like reading, being outside, working on our truck and tinkering with electronics and other things that can be taken apart.
We have two little boys, one is almost two years old and the other is almost 3 months old. Jack, our oldest, has tons of energy and loves to talk and make friends and play with anything and anyone. Barnaby, our youngest, loves to look at faces, smile, and keep the grandparents cozy.
Help us get to know you a bit more with some Fun Facts!
Why the Team thinks Brian is Awesome:
Brian has a kind, gentle and humble servants heart. He is always willing to help out. We love how he seeks to see Jesus in every situation. Brian is a good guy, a hard worker and he knows the camp like the back of his hand. He is unassuming; he gives people the benefit of the doubt and believes the best about them. We like that Brian is honest, passionate and has incredible dedication to Charis Camp. Plus, he's a lot of fun! What a guy!
Krista is our Director of Advancement at Charis. What does that mean? Find out below!
What do you do @ Charis Krista?
My role is basically all about connecting people to Charis and planning new ways to serve people through the facilities. I mostly work away from the camp-either from home or out in the community. I promote, network, plan events and help recruit volunteers. I started at Charis about 3 years ago. I love my role because it is people centered and there is a lot of variety and room for creativity.
What have been some of your favorite advancements @ Charis?
I feel like the most significant event I’ve planned was our 70th anniversary. Our goal was to honor all the past sacrifice that has made Charis what it is today. Gathering people and stories lead to some pivotal shifts in people’s hearts. The most fun event we’ve added is the Family Mud & Obstacle Course: Camp Champ Challenge, which is our annual fundraiser for our Summer Staff. Again, I love the creative planning with a purpose. It was so fun watching the community come together and make muddy memories!
What does life @ home look like?
I have been married for 19 years to Marty Bennett and we have worked together for 8 of those years, including the past 2+years at Charis. We are better together! We have 2 active boys (Tucker, 12 and Riley, 9) with beautiful hearts. We gather around the table for as many meals as sports allow and we love playing games together…the most recent additions being Pictionary & Balderdash! I personally love nature, hiking, coffee, meaningful conversation and laughter.
Any FUN FACTS you’d like to share with us?
Why the rest of the team thinks Krista is Fab:
We love Krista's desire to advance the camp. She has a heart for people and prayer. We love her warm hugs & charming smile. We love Krista’s heart to always follow Jesus’ footsteps, to create team, be productive and have fun while doing it! She has a huge heart for people and her amazing personality never fails to brighten up our day whenever we see her.
Darren is our Executive Director at Charis. Get to know him better through this exclusive interview!
How did you end up @Charis, Darren?
I started this role part time interim in the summer of 2011 while still serving as pastor at Ridgeview Church in Kelowna B.C. Over the next three plus years I became very familiar with the Highway through hell (Coquihalla highway and connector) as I commuted between Kelowna and the camp. In the spring of 2015 my wife Cynthia and I arrived with 4/5 children and took residence on site. Chilliwack became home for our family. It was tough leaving family (our oldest daughter and Cynthia’s parents) and friends behind in Kelowna.
What do you Love about Camp?
What I love about camp is having a place where people can break out of their routine with the physical, mental and spiritual margin that allows for significant encounters with God.
I have so many favorite moments it is hard to choose only one. The one that will always stands out is after a very difficult season of struggle at the camp, we revised a number of things in an attempt to make it more affordable and accessible, including drastically reducing the cost of our camps. On the day of Huzzah camp registration Cynthia and I were driving up the hill towards camp when we saw cars lined up along the side of the road all the way down the hill. My instant reaction was, “Oh no! What went wrong now!” Cynthia beamed back it me, “nothing is wrong, this is what it looks like when camp is full!” I am glad we are improving our registration process each year, but I will always remember the joyful buzz as parents waited (a very long time) to hand off their children to camp staff. Many of those parents expressed gratitude because they had not been able to afford to send their kids to camp in the past.
Tell us about Life @Home
With five kids we have had no shortage of life in our home. Thankfully, most of the drama has come because our oldest enjoys acting and theater. Late night League of Legends became part of my life thanks to my second born. Music abounds as a shared passion with our third child and there is now someone to watch hockey with thanks to child four. Child five brought a much needed male perspective into the house (after four girls). It’s good to have someone to sit and grow impatient with when at the mall… Cynthia and I love our evenings out together, and going for drives to explore beautiful places. We all love lakes, rivers, streams and the ocean. I love mountains and trees and God’s infinite creativity. I also enjoy cooking and most sports. I struggle a bit with soccer, not because of the game, but because of the ridiculous flopping!
Lastly, what are some FUN FACTS about yourself that you'd like to share?
Why the rest of the Team thinks Darren is so Great:
Darren is a Pastor to the core; wherever he goes, he cares and invests in those around him. He is a passionate man after God's heart. Darren has the ability to see giftings in individuals and find opportunities to release them into those areas. He is an encourager. He has a huge heart for the Church & a love for his staff.