By Frank Ramirez
Shannon Kahler, of Burbank, Ohio, who has served as executive director for Camp Inspiration Hills in Northern Ohio, received the Staff Member of the Year Award at a Wednesday morning Outdoor Ministries Association breakfast event. Kahler finds the most rewarding part of her job, “The way it reaches children for Christ in a different way than it happens in church. It happens in a community, not sitting down.”
Kahler, when asked what she loves best about camp, said, “I really enjoy most of all when nobody else is there and you listen to nature and listen to God speak—and then get ready for more people!”
Her most recent experience as a camper came earlier this summer attending Grandcamp with three of her thirteen grandchildren. She also attends Bike Camp. Her hobbies include biking and reading.
Mark Dickerhoof of Clinton, Ohio, was named Volunteer of the Year for his work at Camp Inspiration Hills. When asked his specialty as a volunteer he noted, “I do everything—electrical, plumbing—when trees fall, well no one wants to do that, so I clear trails, mowing.”
He recently put in a deck attached to one building where a wedding was held. It had to be strong enough to support 125 people.
Dickerhoof is a retired plumber and pipe-fitter who owned his own equipment company. “I still have a bulldozer, a skip loader, and a lot of other equipment. If I want to do something, I can do it.” He described with enthusiasm a particular mower that is designed for clearing fields, and when the blades grow dull he simply flips a switch and it self-sharpens once he starts mowing.
He himself began camping when he was young. Now he enjoys doing tough jobs around camp, “When I go out and see what burning bush there is.” He begins by envisioning the project than deciding what tool he should uses. He recently put in handicap sidewalks, and fixed leaks in some of the older systems. “I do enjoy it.”
In addition to the rewards of a job well done, Dickerhoof said, “I get paid in cookies: two frozen chocolate chip cookies!”
Garry Pearson, of David, Calif., conducted the Awards Breakfast. He has been involved at Camp Peaceful Pines since 1973. He described with gratitude and wonder how the Hot Shots firefighting teams parachuted into Camp Peaceful Pines during the terrible fires a few years back and protected the camp. “Camp is just a joy to work with.”
Find out more about the Outdoor Ministries Association on the OMA website.