Summer & Year Round Role: Director of Discipleship
The man, the big cheese, the guy of infamous quotes and kissy lips...not Marty, but Marty Bennett!
What do you do as the Director of Discipleship in the Summer?
I oversee the recruiting and hiring of the Program and Summer Staff as well as speakers. Then I support, equip and encourage them in their roles and provide spiritual guidance through mentoring. The best part of my role is identifying young leaders and investing in them. My passion is to not only run Summer camp but to help our leaders reach their potential.
What was different about this Summer?
We formed our Program team in January and experienced the benefits of that team development as we went into Summer. We will definitely do that again. This year we made it mandatory for all Summer staff to be mentored because it is my passion and conviction to see God not only work through them but also IN them.
What’s been a highlight of Summer 2019 so far?
Working with such an amazing team and having a front row seat to seeing lives transformed. There are a lot of stories of hard hearts becoming soft and walls coming down. It really doesn’t get any better than that!
What’s your Charis Camp Story?
My first summer camp experience here was speaking at Huzzah with my wife. When my kids were old enough to go to Sparks they wanted me to be their Cabin Leader so I volunteered for those weeks to be with my boys. After being a Youth Pastor for 16 years, I started as the Director of Discipleship in 2016 here at Charis Camp. It’s been a fun season of learning, growing and changing as we seek to impact as many young people as possible. It feels like I’m in my sweet spot.
That’s some good stuff...but I heard you are really funny and none of this is funny...
The truth is, I am funny. I just don’t feel a strong need to be funny right now. I just want to enjoy my coffee. Do you want me to be funny or do you need me to be funny? Because that will determine how this goes.
Ya, go ahead and be funny Marty!
I like to laugh. I’m learning to laugh at myself more and others. I like to laugh at others, it makes them wonder if they are doing something wrong. They usually are. The reality is, everybody’s got buttons...some are bigger than others...and I like to push them. From my perspective, that’s part of the discipleship process.
Thank you Marty, I hope your boss reads this and makes any necessary changes.
But in all seriousness, Marty Bennett is a gift. He is amazing at developing teams, setting culture and resolving conflict. He does all of this while making us laugh and we love him!
Summer Role: Head Nurse
Lois has rocked it as a Camp Nurse at Charis Camp since 2015!
What does it mean to be a Camp Nurse, Lois?
Emergency preparedness, make sure all supplies stocked, camper calls before camp to ensure medical form information is clear for the best week possible. First Aid and medical care throughout the week... Not to mention lice ministry...
I heard you started an awesome New program at Charis. Tell me about it!
A few years ago we had a decision to make with resourcing those with exceptionalities. I started something called Beyond Boundaries; I stole the concept from another camp. It’s a program to help kids be at camp that need that bit of extra help that our existing structure wasn’t able to provide. We do an extended interview with parents to see how to support their kids, find people who are equipped to be a resource to them and connect them at Charis for the best week possible!
What’s your Camp Story?
I was a camper, fell in love with camp and never went away! I was a cabin leader, then a camp wife and a nurse. My life was changed at camp when I had mentors at that saw potential in me, called me up and out, helped me know how to be a leader and now I am excited to do the same for others. I love seeing kids' lives changed in a week at Charis. I love seeing them find their identity in Jesus. It’s such a unique ministry; there is nothing quite like camp!
What’s a favorite memory at Charis?
I love pranks! Ha ha ha! They are my favorite things in the whole wide world! One that I can confess publicly is that we saran wrapped someone’s car at their house...saran wrapping is awesome! One time we were saran wrapping someone's cabin and one of my accomplices broke her ankle on a saran wrap role. Brian (Lois' husband) says, “nothing says love like being pranked by Lois.” Obviously getting engaged, married and having babies at camp are top memories too:)
If you could tell people anything about Camp what would it be?
Camp is for EVERYONE! It doesn’t look the same for everyone but it is for introverts, extroverts, young and old...it changes everyone’s life! I think that the most common misconception is that camp is just for kids.
Thank You Nurse Lois!
Charis is better because of you! You are an essential part of the team and your camp family adores you!
The Piccioni Family (Left to Right)
Barnaby, Lois, Brian, Jack
Tell us about yourself.
“I’m at UFV, finishing up my Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing. In my spare time I read. I read a lot. That’s pretty much my only hobby. I’m a hard fiction lover, but lately I’ve been dabbling into some non-fiction. I also have a cat named Liquorice”
Tell us about your program roll.
“Cassidy and I are working together to run the LIT program. This year we’re shifting away from what the program usually is (which is LIT’s being campers during Teen Camp) and try to break some ground and try some new things by having the LIT’s as not campers during Teen Camp but having their own program with sessions and time to connect with campers. For the other weeks I’ll also be helping mentor some of the cabin leaders.”
Tell us about your life growing up in regards to faith?
“I went to church as a kid out in Abbotsford. My parents always took me. It was always just something we did, no questions asked. I began to take my relationship with Jesus seriously when I was in Middle School. That was the time when I was able to learn about Jesus for myself instead of just following what my parents did.”
How did you get connected to Charis Camp?
“I just Googled it! I wanted to help out at a summer camp this year and I wanted something closer to home, so it worked out perfectly.”
Favourite camp memory?
Before Charis I was serving at Camp Qwanoes on Vancouver Island since 2011. My favourite memory there was meeting my husband and working with him in the summer of 2015.”
What are you expecting from God this summer?
“I’m expecting God, in regards to the LIT program, to open the minds and the hearts and the eyes and the ears of the LITs to learn more about Him and follow Him more.”
Korissa loves organizing things and investing in leaders. She has been a gift to the Program Team! We are so glad Google led her to us😉