Greetings CCIW! I am Clayton Summers, the new camp host at Walter Scott along with my spouse Alix Summers. I handle most of the work with the camp while Alix is a full time Special Education Teacher. I just completed my Master of Divinity with Lexington Theological Seminary and have previously been working in Software Engineering. Both Alix and I grew up attending the camp, have counseled at Walter Scott, volunteered at workdays, and were even married in the dining hall in 2019. This place is special and sacred to both of us like we know it is to many of you.
In looking ahead for Camp Walter Scott, I’m wanting to begin with our relationships with individuals, with congregations, with our camps, and with other organizations who have or might use this sacred space. Some of this has already started through more regular postings on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Some will happen through me establishing relationships in the greater Effingham community. Some of this will happen through phone calls, Zoom meetings, clergy gatherings, and regional events. Some of this work has already begun with my visiting of congregations some Sundays around the region and speaking briefly about the Camp. We’re a large region and it would take over 3 years for me to visit every congregation, but I do want to make the effort to come and worship with all of you eventually, because you matter and the campgrounds are all of ours to steward together.
Stewarding is just what the plan is for this patch of Creation. We recently installed a garden at Walter Scott where we will start growing vegetables both for the camp and to donate to the surrounding community (and likely to a number of different hungry forms of wildlife). This is just a taste of what is to come. We will be restoring native prairie where grass is mowed but unused. We will think collectively about our practices and sustainability. We’ll investigate green energy generation through solar panels. We’ll clear out invasive underbrush in our forest to allow native plants and ecosystems to flourish. We will continue to live into our shared Christian vocation of Caring for God’s Creation.
Both building relationships and caring for creation are wonderful, important, and necessary tasks. Yet, neither alone is enough. I would like Camp Walter Scott to reclaim its original name, “The Walter Scott Camp and Learning Center”. Without sharing knowledge of our native ecosystems, our alternative green practices, our focus on spiritual growth, and the importance of 1 on 1 relationships, we are simply congratulating ourselves for doing the right thing. When we share these practices, these ways of being in the world through teaching others, we then are doing something meaningful that can go home and be replicated by all who come here. This is the way our faith can have impact beyond the boundaries of our imaginations. We hope you join us in shaping where this journey will take us.
Peace on the Journey,