So, it’s your first time at the Gathering and you don’t know what to expect? Don’t worry! We’ve got your back. Again this year, we’re offering several “First-Timers Tables” during the opening dinner meal. It’s simple-just look for the tables marked, “First-Timers Welcome” and join us for conversations-get to know fellow first time attendees, find out about the conference and celebrate being with other great camp people!
Don’t be afraid to talk to and meet new people
Camp people are welcoming people and even still sometimes we’re so engaged in conversations or catching up that we forget that not everyone has been around forever. Everyone is encouraged to introduce yourself to new folks! Don’t feel shy-put your camp counselor face on and jump in! (Points awarded to anyone who can engage a group of Executive Directors with impromptu ice-breakers)!
Find friends that are going to other workshops and share
Feeling conflicted about which workshop you want to attend during a certain timeframe? (Let’s face it-sometimes this happens-the workshops sound so good you want to go to all of them). Ask one of your new friends (perhaps even someone you meet at the first-timers table) which workshop(s) they are going to and plan to meet back up for a meal and to share the details.
Meet the vendors
Make sure to visit the vendors! They want to visit with you and you could walk away with great discounts or ideas for the future.
Share your stories at the ‘Listening Post’
Meet with a veteran camp leader at the”Listening Post;’ this is a spot manned by a Board Member of UMCRM-these leaders are here for you to share your joys, vent your frustrations or brainstorm how to handle a variety of situations in the camp setting.
Use the in-between times to your advantage
While the workshops are fabulous and filled with great content, much of what makes this a fantastic experience is the in-between time. That’s when you discover someone has figured out a solution to a problem you’ve been wrestling with or when you get to share your brilliant game. Be sure to engage with our colleagues to get the most out of this nourishing event.
Last, but not least: have fun, open your heart and mind to new ideas and be aware of how the Holy Spirit is moving among us during this special time.