Saturday, July 31, 2004


Saturday - July 31

This morning we gathered for our final celebration. We shared in singing, testimonies, and a final challenge. Delegation leaders gathered together to sing a song to the campers. Campers streamed out on the floor for a final round of goodbyes.

Buses, vans, and cars are being loaded for the short or long drive home. Some delegations are headed for the airport. Goodbyes are being said and hugs exchanged. With the end of the mornings closing Celebration, SPEC has ended for another year.

My thanks to Seventy Bob for sharing his reflections on SPEC in his daily reports.

It has been my privilege to share visual images of SPEC with all of you.

Next year, SPEC reports will be here

Blessings to each of you!


SPEC photo albums are at ImageEvent.com/JimDoty.

You may download photos in the SPEC albums for your own personal use as screen savers or to make prints for yourself. 8x10 and larger prints are available from the photographer. For pricing information go to JimDoty.com and send an email.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Friday Evening Photos

A lot more SPEC photos are here.
Friday Afternoon Photos

A lot more SPEC photos are here.

Friday - July 30

Good Morning Readers,

Today is the last full day of SPEC for 2004 (and no biscuits and gravy for breakfast yet? What's up with that?) It's been an awesome week. Yesterday the tournaments for the sports competitions began. All week the teams have been playing to find the closest level of competition for each team. As teams win or lose in the pool play they are slowly grouped with teams of similar skill and win-loss records. Then when tournament play really begins, that last two days, there is an even chance for each team to win a gold or silver medal. After yesterdays play, several of the Rockies teams won, and are going to be playing for the Gold medal today. GO ROCKIES!! Sorry, but I never claimed to be unbiased.

In our Leadership class yesterday we were reminded that mirrors can reflect accurately, or like a fun house mirror, very distorted. The campers were challenged to find for themselves true mirrors in which to see their reflection. Good friends, pastors, youth ministers, parents, and of course, God, can be mirrors of true reflection. A clip was used from one of the Harry Potter movies that has become one of my favorite quotes. Dumbeldor catches Harry looking into the mirror of desires. A mirror that only shows one what they want to see. Dumbeldor cautions Harry from spending time there by saying, "It does not do well to dream . . . And forget to live." A similar thought says, "No one can go back and create a better beginning, But anyone can start from today and create a better ending." Wise counsel I believe.

Yesterday, along with sports, the campers participated in a talent show. A brief overview of just some of the talent included, bands, vocal groups, solos, magic, instrumental, dance, and some very creative comedy with sleeping bags and hooded sweat shirts. I'm not sure I could articulate it in a way that would truly show the comedy. Ask me in person if we cross paths.

The evening ended with a Communion Worship on the lawn in front of the Library. Over One Thousand of us, sitting on the lawn was quite reminiscent of some of the Bible stories of Jesus ministering to crowds of thousands sitting on hillsides. In this instance, the President of the Community of Christ, Grant McMurray spoke, and ministered to the gathered crowd.

A drama helped to put us in the days of Jesus and the feeding of the several thousands. Andrew first, then others ran to Peter excited about the feeding and the extra baskets. Each basket of communion emblems was then blessed and distributed among those of us sitting there. The imagery was pretty cool, and added to the Worship experience.

Today is the track meet this morning with various events like sprints, races, relays, discus, shot put, hurdles, etc. Also this morning is the swim meet with single events, team events, relays, etc.

This afternoon we will finish up all the sports events and medals will be awarded at the end of each event.

Tonight is the Extravaganza. This year, the campers will be performing, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat." This event is always a highlight of the week as campers work hard all week to present a musical on the last night of SPEC. Campers attend Extravaganza as their two daily classes, in the morning, after the Leadership Class. Tonight is also the dance. And, as you can imagine, this too is a highly anticipated event. Almost everyone looks forward to the dance.

As you can see it's a busy day. Tomorrow we have one final delegation worship, the final Closing Ceremony, and we pack and start the long (or short) drive home. As faithful readers, we can use your prayer support during the drive home time. Campers are tired and sleep a lot on the drive home (a good thing), Staff are tired and sleeping on the way home is not a good idea. The Rockies arrive in Denver at approx. 11 pm tomorrow (Sat) night. Many will spend the night in Denver and drive on to home, or be picked up on Sunday.

If time allows I may try to put together a final reflection at this site. If not just check out the incredible photos from Jim's website, ImageEvent.com/JimDoty, and Blog Spots. As always it's been a treat to offer this joint project to try to keep you connected and feel a part of such an important activity in the life of our young people and their staff. I commend Jim for his hard work and diligence at putting together such a quality project.

As always it been a joy to be your SPEC reporter,


More photos will show up here and at the album site over the next few days, including photos from the Track Meet, Swim Meet, and Closing Celebration. SPEC albums will show up here.

Friday Morning Photos

Here are a few photos from Friday, including the track and swim meets. You can see the rest here.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Thursday - July 29

Good Morning Readers,

It's yet another cool wonderful morning here at SPEC. Sleep-in
morning. No Morning Celebration today and so the campers and staff can
sleep in. First activity is delegation meeting at 8:45, then Leadership
Class at 9. The other staff, in my room, and the campers, took full
advantage of the extra z's. This reporter spent a quiet morning of
meditation and contemplation.

During my quiet time I asked myself, "What is it about SPEC that is
such a draw? Why do so many come year after year?" As I ponder the
reason that so many campers come back for three years, and then come
back as soon as they're twenty-one, as staff, and so many staff come
year after year I have, for me at least, one possible answer.
Relationships, friendships.

Sure the sports is ok, but certainly not the quality and competition
that the real sports jocks are used to. The classes are fun,
enlightening, challenging, but often not different than one might find in their
own congregation or VCS. The food is ok, but certainly not good enough
to leave home for.

No, I think it the relationships that the campers have with each other,
and hopefully with the staff that draw them. Each year as soon as we
begin to fill this campus, the sounds of joyous reunions, and often
startled revelations fill the air. "How have you been?" "What's
new?" "How's so-and so?" "Have you seen . . .?" "No way,
I would have never recognized you." I haven't seen you in. . ."

Scripture tells us that in the very beginning, God recognized it's
not good for us to be alone. That we need helpers to get us through
life. That we need each other. And so we gather and re-gather to those
places where we find community. SPEC is community. Support,
affirmation, love, acceptance, communion, occasionally accountability.

In an old song by The Cars, called "Who's gonna drive you home
tonight?" the song asks, Who's gonna be there when you fall?, Who's
gonna be there when you scream? Who's gonna hear you when you call?
And, Who's gonna tell you when you've gone too far? One answer to
those kinds of questions is SPEC. SPEC is the community for young
people where they can ask and answer those questions from a much larger

At SPEC jocks and nerds mix. Hotties and not-so-hotties mingle.
People from different cultures, races, countries, orientations, ethnicities,
religions, and other diversities, come together into community. The
Community of Christ. For one week we put aside differences and just be.
Together, joined, connected. We are mostly open, mostly honest, mostly

I am enough of a realist to know there must be some who go home after a
week, who would offer a very different perspective. And for that my
heart aches. But for the majority, it is the camaraderie that calls. As
you contemplate the communities in which you interact (family, work,
school, whatever), I would encourage that you ensure that at least one of
those communities fills, for you, the role of companion; one who comes
along side to help you in your walk. A community that strengthens you
and sharpens your vision of what can be, and who you can be in the
community. A community that offers you the chance to become all that God
has created you to be. A community, that not only helps you recognize
the gifts that God has given you, but offers you a place to use those
gifts of ministry in service to others. And that you would use your
influence to make sure that the communities in which you live and work and
play are those kinds communities of love and support for others.

May God bless us as we work to become Community of Christ.

Seventy Bob

SPEC photos are here.

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