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The Best Teammates

When I was a kid, I played a lot of soccer. Being on a select soccer team required a lot of things of me.

Cleats. Shin guards. Uniform. Duh.  

Dedication. Willingness to work hard. No skipping practice. Good teamwork. Great communication. Duh.

They are pretty obvious things. Obvious things that fit into the “duh” category.

Because almost everyone knows, even if you don’t play sports, that these things make a soccer player (even a 12-year-old soccer player) a more desirable person to have on your team. These are the things that communicate preparedness, a willingness to do your part, a desire to do what it takes to win.

So when the leadership teams from Eagle Adventure Camps gathered together several years back to develop our “playbook” for how we would succeed as an organization, stating our “duh” values in our employees was an important part of the process.

Simply stated, if people were going to join our ministry, embark on our mission, be a part of our team, there were some non-negotiable values we needed to establish for them and for us. We call these Permission to Play values. “Duh” factors. Like, if you don’t have them, you might as well not even try out for the team. If you aren’t going to wear the proper uniform or dedicate yourself to hard practice…you probably ought to find a different team to join.

Permission to Play

As we discussed the common traits among our full-time camp employees, there were eleven most-desirable qualities that surfaced that we saw in many of our staff, the majority of the time.

These values have become our “minimum standard” that we believe all of our Glorieta, Camp Eagle, Black Diamond employees should have/be striving for:

  1. A vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ, commitment to scripture, passion
  2. Hard work, high energy, initiative taking, willingness to serve anywhere anytime
  3. Valuing others, respect, empowering others and extending trust, gracious, approachable, open, authentic, humility, organization greater than my department
  4. Youth Culture
  5. Safety – taking extraordinary measures to ensure the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of guests and staff
  6. Straight talk in love, integrity, honesty, Matthew 18 conflict resolution, no gossip, complain up
  7. Hospitable and missional community living
  8. Abundance mentality, sharing with other camps and each other, not a zero-sum mentality
  9. Stewardship, “Going to the dump”
  10. Servant-hearted floor sweeper/sewer diver
  11. Solutions-focused, not bringing problems without solutions

All of that sounds like a pretty great teammate/employee to have, right?

However, maybe a bit daunting and impossible to achieve.

Suit Up

As we look at our Permission to Play list and compare it to our current staff, we would be hard-pressed to find anyone who embodies all of these all the time. But, the one thing we see more often than not is a willingness.

In our staff, there is a willingness to suit up and try.

We put on the uniform and, while some days are better than others, we keep going. We keep putting in the work so that we can have success.

Success, to us, isn’t about winning a game.

It’s about inspiring people to be more like Jesus. It involves our whole hearts, our whole minds, our whole lives.

It means showing up, even when we don’t always want to. It requires leaning into spiritual disciplines to grow in our relationship with the Lord, even when it’s hard. It challenges us to have difficult conversations with our coworkers because we value each other and are constantly learning to remember that we’re on the same team, striving toward the same mission. It causes us to work hard and long because, at the core of who we are, we believe that what we do matters.

None of us are perfect at it.

But we suit up.

We try.

And, as a result, our camp culture is teeming with staff who are imperfectly pursuing Jesus and a life that reflects His in how we live, work, and adventure together.

Debbie Beal

Leadership Staff

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