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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

Ranch Dining Hall (proper noun)

Updated: Mar 14, 2022

((with edits))

a place full of laughter, good food, intentional conversation, bible studies, skit practices, late night cereal, dance parties, servant hearts, and a dang good place for quiet time

oh what a gift this building was this summer! while on the outside she may just look like a cabin, what lies inside is the beating heart of camp. it allowed for what i like to call tabletop fellowship to occur. there is so much importance in those moments.

the simple decision of where you are going to sit at the meal.

how you treat your server.

the way in which you lead the conversation.

these things are not specific to RDH, they are things that we do in our daily lives. but they tend to be so overlooked. in these moments, memories are born. community can be cultivated, nurtured, or broken. there is a responsibility in these moments, the difficulty being that we are unable to see the outcome of these decisions.

moments turn to memories when you decide to lean in. to go for that late night bowl of cereal you don't really need, and end up having long conversations with people you otherwise may have not connected with. to go to the night event and show campers that you care about them and truly want to know their hearts. to look for answers to those hard questions you have been asked, to educate not only yourself, but others as well.

there was a feeling of gentle chaos in this place. it felt like home, yet simultaneously like a black friday sale. there were moments of stillness and honesty born out of vulnerability and trust in community. there was record breaking and dance parties. but when you walked into the building it felt like my favorite thing...a long intentional hug with someone you love after a long time apart.

those four walls never saw a dull moment or heard a secret they couldn't keep. what a place to build a family of believers!

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