Monday, November 10, 2014

Camp Leadership (Team)

2014 PSR Camp Leadership Team & Executive Team
Have you thought about joining the camp leadership team?

In a month we'll be starting the application process and here is the preliminary list of positions that will be available (in no particular order):

1) Administrative Coordinator
2) Boys Village Coordinator
3) Girls Village Coordinator
4) PR & Media Coordinator
5) Program Assistant (female)
6) Program Assistant (male)
7) Activities Assistant

A lot of the work the leadership team does goes unseen by other employees. They create their own effective checklists, schedules, and programs which ensure things run smoothly at camp.

Here are a few of the qualities we're looking for in our camp supervisors.

Leadership Qualities
1) We're looking for people who have a heart for service. As a leader, you'll have plenty of opportunities to clean bathrooms at camp. You could ask (or tell) other employees to do it for you, but a servant leader will take these opportunities to work with your staff.

Some people think that being a supervisor means you don't have to get your hands soiled, but the reality is that moving up in the PSR hierarchy means you'll have even more opportunities to do the dirty work at camp.

2) Leaders who understand the value of balancing confidence and humility. The leadership team is comprised of people who usually aren't thinking of camp as a full-time career. This means that while they might have a history of camp experience, they aren't going to perfectly execute plans 100% of the time. A camp leader knows this, and also knows when to apologize and when to hold firm on principle.      

Usually, people don't offer an apology because it makes them feel like they are wrong. A leader knows that they will be wrong sometimes, and admitting they made a mistake is not a failure.    

3) Leaders who know how to place others before himself or herself. Leaders eat a lot of cold pizza, drink flat soda, and sometimes even go without when serving others. A leader doesn't mind eating the bag of chips no one else chooses in the variety pack (which, is inevitably Fritos) and doesn't complain about 'getting shafted' because the good food ran out.      

Food is just one example of putting others first, I'm sure we can think of others.

4) Finally, our team of supervisors makes a commitment to being Christian leaders. I could write a few pages about this subject, but it boils down to using Christ as our example in how we should act. Christ had the opportunity to play favorites (Matt. 20:23), discard his Father's work (Matt. 4:8-10), and associate with those who were popular in society.

Instead, He ministered to the poor, gentiles, harlots, tax collectors, lepers, etc.. equally.

What wonderful love.

So, if you feel inspired or called to camp ministry let us know by filling out an application next month.

We'll see you at camp,


P.S. If you'd like a job description for any of the positions listed above, or just have questions please feel free to contact me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

On Being Sent...

2014 Summer Staff Photo
Have you ever been sent somewhere? 

I have. 

Usually it's to the store, to collect some grocery items for a family member or friend. Sound familiar? Once you are old enough to drive and have a car it's only a matter of time until you're heading some place to fulfill the wishes of someone who has the ability to compel you to do their bidding.

Wait, that sounded negative.

Once you are old enough to drive and have a car, it's only a matter of time until you are able to do things for the people that you care about.

Much better.

When you've been sent to do something, it usually involves having a very specific purpose.


   buzz, buzz <incoming text message>

   MOM: Need eggs.

   Reply: Just left store.

   MOM: Need eggs.

   Reply: ...

   MOM: Go back.

   Reply: OK


Also, when you're sent to do something, you probably have some good faith basis that the task is necessary. Let's imagine I arrived home only to find that their were plenty of eggs hiding behind the milk! The next time I am asked to pick-up anything from the grocery store you can imagine I'll ask, '...did you look behind the milk?'

Aside from this hypothetical situation, the reason I bring it up is because I have been reading a lot about people who were sent to do things in the Bible.


Numerous OT prophets who were sent to warn the Hebrews and/or kings of Israel and Judah. 
Jonah (Jonah 1-4; sent by God to speak to the people of Nineveh)
Saul/Paul (Acts 9:6; sent by God into Damascus) 
Paul (Acts 16:9-10; Paul sent/called to Macedonia)
Timothy (1 Corinthians 4:17; sent by Paul to the church in Corinth) 
Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25; sent by Paul to the church in Philippi)
Onesimus (Philemon 1:12; sent by Paul back to his master)

Usually, the focus today is on the 'call' to ministry. When someone feels like God is preparing them to walk down the path that travels towards Christian leadership, or to a specific place (like a church/different church). It's such a powerful thing when someone feels like God wants them to do something, and people either answer the call or forgo it. 

I wonder, though, if there are people out there today who experience a Christian 'sending' verses a 'calling'. When someone we trust, or even God, takes us out of the situation we're in and places us somewhere else. I realize there are all sorts of freewill problems with this kind of thinking, but I can imagine a God, who, like a parent, intervenes in the world to rescue (and prosper) His children. 

Think about it: Would you, in faith and for a necessary purpose, accept a specific task from God or someone you trust?

I did forget to include one other great example of a sending: Jesus. (John 3:16-17) Probably the best example of a 'necessary purpose' and a 'specific task' in the Bible.  

Some people will feel called to ministry this summer at camp; it's an exciting and wonderful opportunity to serve others. What will keep me up at night (among other things) will be the idea that perhaps some people will be responding (maybe even against their own hearts) to a sending, where God or someone they trust tells them to join us at PSR for our 2015 season. 

Let us pray today that we'll all have the courage to accept the times we are 'called' or 'sent' to do God's will, and trust that He has a plan. 

We'll see you at camp! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

CA Minimum Wage Laws Affect Summer Camp Employees

2014 Camp Staff @ Line Call
(Riverside, CA) Summer camp employees are amusement and recreational industry workers as defined by California state law. Employee salaries are based on a formula derived from the minimum wage, and compensation in the forms of meals and lodging are regulated by the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) using established figures.

CA/DIR Figures that establish 'fair value' of meals and lodging (Updated: July 2014)
       The value of a shared room per week in CA is: $34.94
       The value of meals per 6-day work week in CA is: $82.44
       The total amount that can be deducted for room and board (per week) in CA is: $117.38

CA Minimum Wage Requirements for Summer Camp Employees (Updated: July 2014)
    85% of minimum wage based on a 40 hour work week.
    [($9.00 x 40) x .85] - 117.38$188.62 (per week) minimum wage

   When the minimum wage was increased on July 1st, 2014 to $9.00 an hour the salary formula at Pine Springs Ranch Camp (PSR) was examined and set to exceed the mandatory minimum requirements.

PSR Summer Camp Employee Compensation (per week) for NEW EMPLOYEES
       $210 for student employees
       $225 for counselors & class instructors
       $240 for specialized/certified instructors
       $255 for head instructors
       $270 for leadership supervisors

   Beating the lowest prescribed salary is a long standing tradition at PSR since expectations for employees are high and because of our commitment to staff success. Most of our staff are college students who are participating in educational scholarships and their work at camp is viewed as a ministry that is accomplished with little financial benefit. However, most camp workers would agree that the intangible benefits (employment training, work experience, friendships with other staff, etc...) make a big difference in their lives.

   Employees who return to camp year after year earn automatic raises and often increasing responsibilities. We're always glad to retain great employees, but we are also proud of our staff members who decide to take other summer ministry opportunities or reach for personal success through education or promising careers.

   Often at the end of the camp season we're also able to provide a small (taxable) bonus for most of our workers as an extra 'thank you' for their service. In 2014 we awarded a total of $6,670 among our employees and we structured the bonus formula so that everyone was able to benefit. This exceeded the amount we spent on bonuses in 2013 and we hope to increase employee bonuses in 2015.

   Finally, during the summer season (and beyond) we often find special ways to do nice things for our seasonal employees. The annual Christmas party is just one example of a no-cost event for former staff and continues a tradition that has lasted many years.

   As many Californians are aware, the minimum wage is increasing January 1st, 2016 and we will once again be re-evaluating our camp pay scale to make sure that our weekly salary compensation is beating the minimum requirement for our employees.

   Please always feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding camp wages and/or compensation.

~Jeremy Cruz
Assistant Director