Andrew remarked, “They’re big shoes to fill because he started in August of 1997 and I was born in September of 1997. He has been here longer than I have been alive, so it's kind of scary. But so far I feel like the transition has gone well, [it’s been] pretty natural.”
Larry is not the only one who has been around WCRC for a while. Andrew began volunteering in maintenance at 14 then began working in the kitchen. At 16 he was a lifeguard at the pool and became Head Lifeguard the following summer. Andrew said that while it seems strange to be taking over for Larry, he feels confident knowing that he has seen Larry excel at the job for so many years.
Andrew said some of his favorite memories at WCRC were as a counselor, especially the rewarding feeling he got when he finished a week of camp. After being a Senior Counselor, he worked for another summer as the Support Staff Coordinator.
Volunteering in maintenance gave him an early appreciation for the grounds and how he got to be a part of their development. “At the end of the road there’s the main street light on the right. I put that in as a 14 year-old. And the speed limit sign that says ‘20 miles per hour,’’ I put that in. It’s always cool to drive around and be like, “Oh I did that,” and “I helped with that,” and “I fixed this.” It’s a very rewarding thing.”
Now as the Maintenance Director, he gets to have an even bigger impact on the grounds. He described his role as, “Maintaining the grounds and buildings, making sure nothing is breaking, and fixing things that people break.” With a summer camp and year-round retreats, there is always work to be done.
Since starting in January, Andrew has had more than the usual fixing and maintaining to do, as the Oakwood Renovation took place this winter. He said that it’s actually been one of his favorite things he’s worked on so far. He explained, “So, we just finished up this Oakwood Renovation and part of the renovation is we built forty bed frames. It was cool to bring in the volunteers for that and watch it all come together, to see how people can get together and work.”
Andrew is grateful for the work environment and the way he gets to contribute to WCRC’s mission and vision. “It’s a change of pace, working here. It's not a go-go-go, rush-rush-rush, make as much money as you can. It's just about providing a place for Christ to work in people’s lives. It’s nice to have a bigger goal than just making money and making money for someone else.” He added that he likes how WCRC “provides a place for the community of Williamsburg to get together in the way of camp and retreats. [It is] a place that is removed from standard busyness and society.”
He said that as a kid he originally wanted to be a chef, hence working in the WCRC kitchen, but as he grew up, he wanted to be a youth pastor then to work as a director at a summer camp. “That’s kinda been the dream job since I was a kid.” he stated. He said he has been to a couple camps growing up and that camp has always been a part of his life.
“The first year, I think I was like 6, I went to my first week of summer camp. So every summer I’ve been to at least one week of camp. Camp for me has been a big focal point of something to look forward to, but also a spiritual focal point.” He reflected. The reason why camp was so impactful to him as a kid is “It was a completely different environment, it's much more raw. It’s okay for emotion to come out and spiritual walls to come down. It’s just a different place than what normal life is like, in a good way.”
Andrew believes that working at WCRC has impacted him both spiritually and professionally. He said, “I have learned a lot especially having been around for so many summers.I feel like I’ve learned a lot about communication with others, [at] summer camp with peers, campers, and leadership. Then vice versa being in leadership, communicating with the people you’re supervising. I feel like I’ve learned a new side of my spiritual walk, you know, not just going through the motions… One of the first times I was here, I was in worship and it was contemporary Christian music, which was foriegn to me. I had never experienced it and it was just completely different and worship felt whole- I guess I don’t know the right word- it was just more true and pure and less of a show than what I was used to.”
Thank you for reading Andrew’s WCRC story this week! We are sad to see Larry transition out, but are grateful for his many years of hard work. We are excited to have Andrew taking on this important role in making WCRC a peaceful place for God to work in our community.