The last post I wrote was about mentoring (the Spock/Yoda thing). This one is about mentoring as well—the topic is something close to my heart and I’ve studied it a lot. I promise no more 70’s/80’s sci-fi films references in this one.
So I am 43 now and still love to play. Not just once in a while, but A LOT. I’ll play nerf darts with my kids, surf any chance I get, (any game or sport for that matter) and join in most extemporaneous outbreaks of fun in the office. Envision –shooting baskets with trash, sliding on trays down hills, and other stuff I won’t list (so people don’t think I’m a total slacker).
I get my work done and even act professional most of the time, but I’ve always wondered if there was something different about me because I seemed to like recess way more than class time. Doesn’t that stuff stop when you get older? Anyone else feel like that?
This all came to a head for me at one of those professional national conferences some years back. I’d go to these to learn and grow in my profession, but secretly looked forward most to the creative late night activities we’d come up with. For example, for some reason we had this challenge that we had to swim in whatever body of water was near the city of the conference. I passed when we were in Colorado Springs one December because the ice was too thick, but I wish I would have passed in Orlando when we swam across that alligator infested lake at midnight. We’d get about 3 hours of sleep per night and just crash for a few days once we got home. I always learned a lot in the seminars and meetings (the ones I stayed awake in), but wondered if I should act more grown up.
Now, fast-forward to one of my doctoral classes at Fuller a few years ago. I was in a session on peer-mentoring taught by Dr. Bobby Clinton. He was my favorite teacher and an expert in the field of leadership. He wrote a great book on mentoring called “Connecting: the Mentoring Relationships You Need to Succeed in Life”.
Anyhow during this lecture he says as we get older we have less and less significant peer relationships and one of the most vital ingredients is fun together. I’ve paraphrased his content on this issue this way: Fun + Friends + Faith are the main ingredients of a significant peer friendship.
Those three ingredients exponentially accelerate each other. In other words, the more fun you have the deeper your friendship and faith can grow together and visa-versa. I’ve seen this principle proven over and over and over again. That’s why camp is so much fun to come to—we have amazing challenges in our faith, you meet great people and having fun is expected.
If anyone out there needed a license to goof-off, there you go. See you at camp!! ,