#3-Mid-Summer Evaluations


The phrase, “Mid-Summer Evaluations”, is common around camp during staff training and the first few weeks of summer. Often, it is said as a form a praise when someone does an act noteworthy or recording.

i.e. — “Wow! Great job, you, for doing that thing. I’ll remember this during mid-summer evaluations!”

On the other side, however, the phrase is also used–let me assure you it is done in jest and good-spirit–when someone makes a mistake. Again, it is not done when serious or formal critique is needed. I would equate it to when a player drops a ball in practice or a musician plays a chord incorrectly–it’s an error, but it’s not a big deal.

i.e.– “Hey, [insert name here], here is your new name tag for the 14th time this summer. Try to keep track of this one and don’t: lose, rip, burn, sacrifice, eat this one or I’ll have to remember this for your mid-summer evaluation.”

In reality, the mid-summer evaluation is a real thing, but it serves much less as a way for the program team to tell the summer ministry team what they are doing well or not-so-well. Rather, it is a time of reflection and commitment. This year, the team members sat down individually and examined the goals each person wrote for herself or himself. They evaluated their success in reaching those goals and created plans to maintain success of drafted new steps to meet the goals in the coming weeks.

Now, you the reader of this blog post may be asking yourself, Why is Evan writing about this and how can it possibly relate to seminary, camp, or board games? Well, friend, that is a great question, and I am both glad and thankful for you to ask it.

This blog entry will serve as our own mid-summer evaluation to update you on all the things that have taken place for Hillary and I since the start of summer. This will also be a time as we reflect on these things and look at what the next few weeks hold. Included are the following topics: Summer Camp, The Youth Gathering, Packing, Seminary, and of course, Board Games.

Summer Camp

At the time of this writing, campers are arriving, meeting counselors, moving in, and beginning a great week at camp. Today marks the sixth of eight weeks and it is looking to be full, hot, ministry filled week. I personally look forward to actually being back at camp. After almost two weeks absent (Gathering, see below, and 4th of July), it feels weird to be back in routine, but it also feels so great to be back at camp. I hope to savor the remaining time and opportunities here.

The Youth Gathering

To save some time on this post, please check out blog #3a-Reflections on the Youth Gathering



Since returning from Houston, Hillary and I have been in full-moving-mode. Just about every day is filled with more sorting, folding, trashing, and packing. Our game shelf has dwindled to just 20 games and the rest in boxes. It finally really hit me that we’re moving as we packed up the kitchen. With all our pots, pans, dishes, cups, other cookware, other cups, baking tools, and extra gadgets, we now have three CJH branded spork+knives and an empty take-out box to microwave pizza, and every empty cupboard reminds us we’re moving soon. When I say remind, it’s a good thing, as it shows the progress we are making. Sort of like when you see the bottom of the plate that was once overflowing with spaghetti. There is pride in making to that far, but you know you dread having to finish, but in the end it’s both needed and rewarding. Our goal is to be 99% finished moving by next weekend (7/22), and to spend the last week of our time in Nebraska with friends, family, and relaxation.


We are getting so excited to begin this next adventure! The only big update is that we got our housing assignment and would love to share our address with you if you would like! We would also love to have yours to send you letters, too! We continue to receive wonderful news of support, both through prayer from our communities and financial support. We are so thankful for these blessings and look forward to being good stewards of these gifts.

Board Games

I recently learned of Facebook Marketplace, and even though we are trying to pack up, I keep finding really, really good deals on great games. In the past couple days we’ve picked up the following: Shadows over Camelot, Quelf, Punderdome, Red November, and Ambition: A Roll for the Galaxy Expansion. At some point I am sure we will actually be able to play these all… Maybe…

We have had some time to play other games, though! We made some great new friends at CJH and have a standing Monday evening game group until we leave. Last week we played Photosynthesis, a game about planting, growing, and harvesting trees which looks GORGEOUS on the table top. We also played Stonemeier’s epic dystopia building worker placement game, Euphoria. I came in last place in both while Hillary won or tied for second in both.

We also had the opportunity to play test Hill’s game, [Working Title] Zoo Builder again last night. This time it was with six players, three of them kiddos aged 11, 8, and 6, and it was so wonderful. We played to just three exhibits because it was getting close to bed time. The 8-year-old won with 22 points, followed by scores of 21, and 19. It was a great game and all enjoyed.

Finally, Hillary and I finally got Scythe to the table again and I wooped Hillary 105 – 88, so I am happy to end this blog on a high note!


Much Peace and Many Blessings to you,


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