Say Hello Saturday: Chris Dean
This winter and spring, we’ve been highlighting all of our year-round permanent staff members on our blog. Today we’re introducing the culinary mastermind behind all things delicious here at the good ol’ CCACC: say hello to Chris!
Name: Chris “Deano” Dean
Job: Food Services Manager
How long have you worked at Cascades? Five summers on summer staff, two years as an intern, and about five months officially as year-round staff.
What do you like most about working at Cascades? I like the idea behind the ministry as a whole – the idea that it’s a safe, distraction-free place to come where people can focus on God. It’s amazing how all the different departments work together to make that happen.
If you had to choose one camp food to eat every day for a year, what would you choose? Can I say anything I don’t have to cook? Just kidding. I think I would have to say cheddar and bacon grilled cheese with French onion soup. No wait – actually breakfast tacos. Not the breakfast burritos – the tacos.
Favorite place at camp? Horseshoe Hollow. I have a lot of good memories there. I’ve led worship there a couple times.
What do you enjoy doing outside of your job at Cascades? Hiking, reading, watching movies, and playing with my puppy.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? It bounced around a bit. First, I wanted to be a cowboy. Then a police officer, an astronaut, and a pilot – until I found out they didn’t accept people who wore glasses. (Wait, is that true? Or did my parents lie to me?)
Most epic camp story? One day during my year as the Operations Intern, my boss asked me to go round up all the boats that had floated away after a big windstorm. It was the middle of winter, and the lake was partially frozen over. I got in a canoe and started navigating through the maze of trees that were down all across the lake – swinging around them, climbing over them and pulling the canoe after me. I eventually got the boats, tied them to the back of my canoe, and started back toward shore. It was super windy and they were full of icy water, so the whole process took most of the day. I stopped partway back on the old floating dock to empty out the boats and make them a little lighter – but I accidentally slipped, kicking my boat (along with all the other boats) back into the middle of the lake. I had no radio to call for help, so I decided to swim to shore to get another boat to finish the job. I stripped down to my boxers so that my heavy winter clothes wouldn’t weigh me down (because that’s what you do when you’re 21), jumped in the freezing cold water, somehow got to shore, and ran to the boathouse to grab another paddle. I then realized that I had left my keys on the floating dock with my pants and couldn’t get in, so I got in my truck and drove back to my room to get more clothes and an extra set of keys. On my way there, I passed literally every single person I could possibly pass – soaking wet and wearing only my underwear in the middle of winter. I got some strange looks. And I eventually got the boats back.
What’s been one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had at camp? Probably seeing people who were campers when I first started here come back and be on summer staff. I love seeing how camp impacts people in that way.
Thanks Chris! After an eight year hiatus, we’re so happy to have Chris back with us at Cascades! From operations guru to worship leading master to resident culinary genius, Chris has blessed this ministry with his gifts in tremendous ways.