About a year or two ago I heard about the eclipse through a friend and thought “hey that sounds neat”. I had no idea that two years later that eclipse would be such a big deal, or that I would be planning an event hosting over 700 people.
God is surely good and he brings us exactly what we need. I needed to see miracles happen.
Towards the beginning of this year we began considering hosting campsites for the eclipse. We were just in the discussion stages and really put a lot of thought and prayer into it. By the time we decided that we really wanted to host the event, we had just months left to plan and organize.
When it’s God’s will, there is always a way: before we had the chance to advertise our first campsite we already had plenty of obstacles to overcome. I really do believe that God had his hand in this event and wanted us to host it.
There was one evening, after a particularly hard day of trying to find solutions for issues that were coming our way (issues that each on their own could cause us to cancel the event), that I went outside and cried for a while. Finally I picked myself up and went for a walk and prayed, “alright God. You want this event to happen, you make it happen. I’ve done all I can do.”
The crazy thing is, he did. He answered that prayer and went above and beyond to pour down his blessings on our event.
I got the title of “event planner” which I feel was unfair for everyone else. The guests all know my name, they have spoke to me on the phone, and we planned their vacation together. What the guests don’t see, is that I had a team of over 20 amazing people that all had jobs equally as important. Through a unfortunate series of events, I became pretty sick on Saturday morning and the rest of my amazing team quickly took my place and carried on the event without a hitch.
Because of this, the guests got the chance to see that it wasn’t just me who orchestrated this event. They got to see Heidi and Anne Marie managing the kitchen team. They got to see mommy stelzer doing check ins and helping in literally every area of the event. They got to meet Tom and Rebecca who cleaned bathrooms and did recycle, gave horse rides, and meet so many other great team members. I was so glad that even though I was in bed, this awesome team got some recognition and got the opportunity to meet the amazing guests we had at our site.
Speaking of guests, when planning an event it is usually safe to plan on having at least one “bad apple”. A grumpy customer, someone who just really can’t be pleased. We didn’t have one. We didn’t have any. Each and every single one of our guests were absolutely amazing. They were cheerful and kind. They happily learned how to recycle their trash instead of throw it in a dumpster (our event was nearly 100% zero waste). They came up and visited with us and laughed, shared stores, thanked every team member, and were truly the best campers around. We actually had people come to our event after it had started asking if they could join us too because it just looked so lovely and they wanted to be a part of the fun too.
It’s things like that, that can’t be planned.
We had a state representative, a NASA scientist, the developer of photoshop, a neurosurgeon, and several other people with interesting careers present at the event. We had multiple people from “across the pond”, Canada, and even Alaska and Connecticut. This was another fun surprise for us and it was very much unplanned. The neat thing to see was people from so many different walks of life all enjoying the weekend together.
There are really so many highlights that I’d like to share about the event. Here are a few photos for you to enjoy.