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Say Hello Saturday: Donna Moline

This winter and spring, we’re highlighting all of our year-round permanent staff members on our blog. Today we’re introducing the lovely lady who manages all of our guest services: say hello to Donna!

Name: Donna “Cha-Ching” Moline

Job: Guest Services Manager

How long have you worked at Cascades? 28 years.

What do you like most about working at Cascades? I really like working with and meeting lots of people. I love seeing the kids arrive, too.

If you had to choose one camp food to eat every day for a year, what would you choose? Caramel rolls with a cup of coffee. Or macaroni and cheese.

Favorite place at camp? Summit Chapel.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your job at Cascades? I enjoy working in my garden when it’s nice out.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A flight attendant. And the funny thing about it is that I can’t really stand to fly! But I didn’t do much flying as a kid, so I didn’t really know. I’ve come to find that I like my feet on the ground.

Most epic camp story? Many years ago, we had some kids in the area coming onto camp property late at night and getting into mischief. We were determined that we were going to catch them, so we all took turns staying overnight in the main office by a window that faces the direction we thought they were getting in. Dan Clifford, our Special Projects Manager, planted a wire across the road that would explode if it was crossed. My husband Tom and I were staying up there one night, and right on cue, a big “BOOM!” went off at 11pm. At that moment, it was like the whole camp came alive. A few of the guys jumped on quads and flew up the hill trying to catch the culprits, but they didn’t find anyone. We thought a deer might have set it off or something. A week later, a couple of the kids of one of our staff members were on the school bus and heard some other kids talking about this same incident – so the little scoundrels got turned in!

What’s been one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had at camp? My favorite thing is seeing kids come to the Lord here – that’s what it’s all about! I also love seeing summer staff come through and grow during their time here.

Thanks Donna! We’re so grateful for Donna’s many years of faithful service here at Cascades and all that she has poured into this place, from the very early years until now. From the countless guest groups she works with tirelessly, to the lovely and classy details she adds to everything she touches, we are truly blessed by her ministry.

Say Hello Saturday: Jessica Martin

This winter and spring, we’re highlighting all of our year-round permanent staff members on our blog. Today we’re introducing one of the creative brains behind all things program-related: say hello to Jessica!

Name: Jessica “Lambchop” Martin

Job: Program Coordinator

How long have you worked at Cascades? I worked on summer staff for five summers, interned for a year and a half after college, and officially started year-round last May.

What do you like most about working at Cascades? I absolutely love my job. It requires a perfect combination of my skills and passions: the outdoors, creative thinking, administration, relationship building, ministry, and so much more. I think my favorite part, though, is watching something I’ve spent months and months chipping away at behind-the-scenes finally come alive. I love watching people connect with God at a retreat I’ve had a hand in planning. I love seeing our summer staff come together and do ministry, after spending an entire year sorting through applications and references and interviews, putting the team together piece by piece.

If you had to choose one camp food to eat every day for a year, what would you choose? The biscuit/egg/sausage/cheese breakfast sandwiches. Or breakfast burritos. Or French toast. Or biscuits and gravy. Basically, breakfast in general. I’m a big fan of breakfast.

Favorite place at camp? The Timber Rock amphitheater – or out in the middle of the lake on a paddle board. It’s a toss-up.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your job at Cascades? I love writing, baking, eating what I bake, hiking and spending time outdoors, teaching my dog Cricket weird tricks (for example: “king of the rock,” where she goes and finds a large rock to jump on top of), and plucking away at my guitar every once in a while.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I went through many phases. At different points in my life I wanted to be a veterinarian, a teacher, a geologist, a professional soccer player, and most notably a clown – I even learned how to juggle and twist balloon animals in preparation for that one.

Most epic camp story? Many, many, MANY years ago when I was still young, naïve, and inexperienced (cough – the summer of 2014 – cough), I may or may not have been trying to drive back to my cabin in the dark late one night – in a golf cart with no headlights. “Who needs lights?” I thought to myself. “I know these roads like the back of my hand.” About ten seconds later I found myself blindly driving straight into the brush and just about over the edge of a muddy drop-off – and the only person still awake at that hour to help me physically lift it out was my boss. (Thanks for never telling my secret, Claudia!)

What’s been one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had at camp? One of the most rewarding experiences for me is seeing former campers from back when I was a counselor stick around and go through the S.A.L.T. program or eventually end up on summer staff. While camping ministry can feel “short-term” in many cases, with lots of campers who only come for a single week, I love how Cascades is a long-term ministry in the sense that campers come back year after year, and lasting relationships are built.

Thanks Jessica! Though she might get embarrassed about us posting this, Jessica has been a true answer to prayer in helping the Program Department thrive and grow! Her spunk and creativity, coupled with her depth and thoughtfulness bring abundantly more life to this place and the ministry that we are able to do here. Cheers to you, Jessica! Cascades sure is lucky to have you!

Want a Free Mug and $20 at the Espresso Stand?!

We’re at the halfway point between summers here at Cascades, which means that we’re well into our preparations for this upcoming summer – including summer staff hiring! Applications have been rolling in, and we’ve been on the road recruiting all over the Pacific Northwest over the last couple of weeks, looking for God’s chosen few (and by few, we mean 70+…wowza!) to join us in ministry this summer. Check out where we’ll be recruiting in upcoming weeks here, send all your college-aged/Jesus-loving/servant-hearted friends our way, and partner with us in prayer as we continue to discern God’s voice and leading in the hiring process.

And if you need a little added incentive to write that email/make that phone call/send that text/etc. to someone you think might be a good fit for our summer team, here it is: for every summer staff applicant YOU refer to us and WE end up hiring, you’ll receive a $20 credit at our espresso stand AND a fancy-shmancy one-of-a-kind Cascades mug! (We’ll even make your beverage of choice IN your new mug when you come to cash in your reward. What a deal, eh?!)

So, stop reading this blog and hop to it, y’all! Refer potential applicants here for more information, and here to start applying – and don’t forget to have them mention your name in their application!

NOTE: If there is any overlap in referrals, the reward will be split accordingly. (For example: if 20 people refer the same applicant, you’ll each get $1 – and have one very germy mug!)

Say Hello Saturday: Rowanne Fairchild

This winter and spring, we’re highlighting all of our year-round permanent staff members on our blog. Today we headed out to Sunrise Ranch to introduce to you the lovely lady behind all things horse-related: say hello to Rowanne!

Name: Rowanne “Mela” Fairchild

Job: Ranch Manager

How long have you worked at Cascades? My first summer on staff was 2011, and I worked through the summer of 2013. I came back in the fall of 2014 as the interim ranch supervisor and became permanent in January 2015.

Favorite part about working at Cascades? I really like the diversity of the job – especially the aspect of physical labor that plays into that. There are some days that we’re stripping rails, moving hay, or riding horses, and it’s a very physically active job. It’s also a job that involves a lot of relational ministry. That’s one of my favorite parts: getting to know the hearts of people and seeing the way that God is at work in their lives and getting to witness how God is at work here through their interactions with horses.

If you had to choose one camp food to eat every day for a year, what would you choose? The kale quinoa salad

What do you enjoy doing outside of your job at Cascades? I’m really into martial arts. I love reading and writing and spend a lot of time outside of work doing that. I also enjoy backpacking and traveling. I spend most of my weekends, weather permitting, doing those things.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be either a veterinarian or a detective – I wanted to solve problems!

Favorite place at camp? I really like Osprey Glade. It’s probably my favorite remote location, right at the crook of the elbow of the lake. I really also like the top of Grandview.

Most epic camp story? During my senior year of high school I was out here volunteering and was left by myself to run the horses up to the pasture. It was my first time doing it by myself and I was super stoked to be trusted with this responsibility. Turns out I forgot to close the gate at the bottom of the covered arena, so the horses went around the top of the night pasture, which basically dumped them into the forest. I was distraught and beside myself because I figured I had just lost all these horses. Fortunately, some people from a guest group had been in the right place at the right time and saw the horses coming from the wrong direction. They opened the gate and let the horses through and closed it after them. Everything ended up being okay even though I thought I would never be asked to come back to camp again!

What’s been one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had at camp? One of my most rewarding experiences has been my relationship with one of our horses, Captain. Working with him from the time that he came and was considered by most to be a crazy and untouchable horse, to working with him that summer on most of his “firsts” and seeing him emerge not as a crazy horse, but one that was incredibly insecure. I saw myself reflected a lot in him and found freedom within that relationship to heal and develop. He still has a long road ahead of him, but is much more dependable and willing to walk into the unknown. That bond of trust with him has been an incredibly rewarding experience.

Thanks Rowanne! From her earlier years as a home school horsemanship camper, to now running the show as our year-round Ranch Manager, we love seeing how Cascades has shaped Rowanne and how she in turn is shaping the lives of others who come through our gates. Hooray for Rowanne! Pop in and say hi to her next time you’re at Sunrise Ranch.

Say Hello Saturday: Cean Williard

This winter and spring, we’re highlighting all of our year-round permanent staff members on our blog. Up next is a man whose work is most often behind-the-scenes, but a crucial element to the ministry we do here at Cascades. Drumroll please…

Name: Cean “Torque” Williard

Job: Operations Manager

How long have you worked at Cascades? I worked on summer staff from 2005 to 2009, interned for a year, and then started year-round in 2010.

Favorite part about working at Cascades? I have three favorite parts, actually. First, there’s a lot of variety in my job. I never have the same day twice. Even in the routine, there’s still a lot of variance that happens. Second, I’m always learning something new and different. And third, it’s a really cool community out here. Everyone is here for the same purpose. We have a mission, and we’re moving forward in the same direction, unlike a lot of other jobs where you’re just there to make a paycheck. People are here for good reasons, and I like being part of that.

Favorite tool to use at camp? I really like using the backhoe. It’s kind of like the Swiss Army knife of camp. It’s really fun to drive around and use for lots of different things.

If you had to choose one camp food to eat every day for a year, what would you choose? Raspberry House Salad

What do you enjoy doing outside of your job at Cascades? I’ve recently started designing and building furniture for my home, which I’ve really enjoyed.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I always thought being an architect would be pretty cool. Or an astronaut.

Favorite place at camp? The roof of Timberidge Lodge, the back deck of Madrona Lodge, or the middle of the zipline – but probably the roof of Timberidge. It’s a really pretty view from up there.

Most epic camp story? Once I was on the roof of the Rec Hall, sweeping and cleaning off all the pine needles. At one point I took a step down toward the edge and I slipped – hard. As I was sliding down toward the edge towards the 20 foot drop onto concrete, I said to myself, “That’s it. I’m dead. I’m going down.” Fortunately, I stopped somehow at the very last second. That was a rush – never doing that again!

What’s been one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had at camp? During my first summer on staff as a counselor, there was this kid in my group at family camp who we were having a lot of issues with. He was a rowdy, troubled kid. We were up at Brightwood, and I ended up having to pull him aside at one point. We went out to a big rope swing in the woods, and just hung out for a while and struck up a friendship. In that moment, when someone showed an interest in him and cared about him and his story, I saw his attitude completely change. He progressively got a little better each day during family camp that week, and every year after that he’d come back and say hi to me. He ended up being on summer staff this past summer and did a great job. It’s a rewarding story, and cool to have had a piece in that.

Thanks Cean! We can’t say enough about Cean’s steadfast work ethic, humble servant’s heart, unexpectedly awesome ‘Thriller’ dance moves, and perfectly timed and executed witty humor. Give him a high five next time you see him. (Or some brownies. He REALLY likes brownies.)