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!