I’m pulling out an older post to share about one of my heroes.
This post is from about a year ago, and I still count Poppy as a hero to our family!
Last week I wrote about sending our son to kids’ camp, and how I was a little uncertain of how it would all go, mostly because of his special needs. As we do with most new things in life, we decided to give him the opportunity to preview the campground at his own pace. We decided to take a drive to the camp, since it’s just an hour from our home, to let him see where he will be spending the week. We drove around the grounds and didn’t really see anyone, but that was okay. We enjoyed a nice lunch at a local restaurant, and then decided to drive back and look at the camp one more time on our way home, just to make sure our son seemed okay with the lay of the land. It was then that we met Poppy.
If I were to tell Poppy he had been “an angel” on this journey, he would probably find some humble way to dismiss the comment and remind us that he was just a retired man who volunteers his time as the maintenance man at the campground. And while that is true, today, he was another person who is going to help make our son’s time at the camp one of the best weeks ever!
When we arrived back at the campground after lunch, we found Poppy’s son and granddaughter, and they pointed us to Poppy for questions about the buildings and the grounds. Poppy could have just answered our questions and that would have sufficed. But as we explained our guy’s issues and needs, Poppy decided that we should have a tour of the grounds, so we loaded up on his golf cart and away we went!
He took us into the hall where they have their chapel services – it’s a large building with garage doors on all sides, so it’s literally drive-through! He rang the bell so that our guy could hear the sound and know that meant that it was time for chapel. He showed us the trailer where he and his wife live, the snack shop and office, and many of the cabins that people own. He showed us the fire pit area where the campers will roast marshmallows and hot dogs, and his own special devotional spot at a bench under the trees. He took us to the building that is usually used for the boys during camp, and to the building on the other end of the property where the girls usually stay. We went into the dining room and met some of the ladies who are cooks for the camp. It turns out that Poppy has 6 sisters, and 5 work at the camp. The kitchen staff took an interest in our kids and asked about food likes/dislikes, and explained how the mealtimes work. We also met Dennis, who was chopping wood. Poppy told us we could remember his name by calling him Dennis the Menace, and of course the kids loved to hear that!
Poppy explained that most kids do fine at camp, but some start to get homesick on the second night. He said the counselors often send the kids to sit with Poppy, and I must have said something like, “Really?” I figured they would send them to a lady, thinking that would be like a mother figure to them. Poppy said he cries easily and so when the kids are crying, they visit Poppy and he cries right along with them. No kidding!
We saw the pool and playground area, and – our son’s favorite – the field where they set up for archery classes. At a different convention earlier this year, our guy heard they have archery lessons at camp, and he’s been wanting to go ever since. Sure enough, Poppy showed us the hay bales that they set up for archery classes, so the arrows hit the hay and don’t just fly into the road or into the woods.
A man called Poppy – maybe simply a retired man who offers his services as a maintenance man. For our family, though, Poppy is an angel that God sent to us to help ensure that we all feel prepared for camp this week! Thanks, Poppy – I know our guy will have a wonderful adventure at camp, and that you’ll be there, watching out for him!
Update: Here is a picture from 2014 – (and before camp even started, Poppy was asking if his buddy – our son – was going to be there…such a blessing!)
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