It was supposed to be a one time deal. A handful of friends and people that I volunteer with on Sundays at church had been counting down the weeks until camp started. They were in charge of running the show all summer long and there was a mixture of nervousness, anticipation, and pure excitement leading up to the start of camp that consumed their world. I wanted to do something to encourage them on their first day of camp, but my creativity is pretty limited, and I have never been around the camp world so I had no idea what would be helpful. Typically my natural way to show love or encouragement is by offering my time. Time to help them with projects, time to sit down and ask about their week (and really listen)… just time. However I saw very quickly that time is something that they just don’t have when you’re working a Triple C summer. So, we moved on to plan B.
It was supposed to be a one time deal. I put together a big bucket full of snacks and sugar for when they needed an energy boost, made some of my best snickerdoodle cookies, covered their desk in scripture sticky notes, and left it for them to find when they arrived on Monday morning. Done and done! I addressed it to the “awesome Triple C directors” and I conveniently forgot to sign my name. If anyone asked I wouldn’t have denied it had been me, but it really wasn’t about ME, I just wanted them to know that there were people praying for them and to hopefully start their summer with a smile and fun surprise.
Over the next few days I had overheard a handful of people including some of the directors talk about their “Secret Buddy” and how awesome that had been to come into on Monday morning. And then I heard the Holy Spirit say:
“You know, that would be a good way for them to start EVERY week this summer…”
“Well, yeah, I’m sure it would, BUT you know that I probably wouldn’t have time since I have weddings every weekend, right?.”
“Yes, but you could still do it… and make time.”
“well, yeah.. I’m sure I probably could. But you know that I don’t have keys to sneak into their office every week, right?”
“Yes, but you could find some.”
“well, yeah, I probably could. But.. but.. but…”
“Remember what I taught you, be generous with your words and time. Don’t miss an opportunity.”
… got it, Lord. One time deal? Not any more! :)
So now with the official title of the camp director’s “Secret Buddy” and the help of a few accomplices throughout the summer, we made it happen. For the past 9 weeks I have snuck into the camp director office every Sunday night (ps- our church is WAY SCARY late at night!) to drop off some sort of baked deliciousness and a note of encouragement for them on Monday mornings. In my mind Triple C and KGB, which is the ministry I volunteer with, are so closely linked. One of the main goals of Triple C is to help connect families to a church, hopefully our church. I got to see a lot of the campers at KGB on Sundays, but since I couldn’t contribute at all to their efforts at camp during the week, this was the next best thing I could do to help encourage and lift up the camp staff this summer. The hope was that they would be able to start each week knowing that people were praying specifically for them. I know for me at least, one of the most encouraging things I could hear is that someone is praying specifically for what’s going on in my life. The directors are responsible for pouring into all of their counselors and campers every week, and so it seemed like someone needed to be looking out for them too. and i was honored that God would ask me to contribute to that, even in just this small way.
I’m convinced there’s power in prayer, in the word of God… and in a batch of homemade cookies ;)
This whole thing turned out to be SUCH a blessing for me, and hopefully for a few others along the way. Crazy how that works when you obey what God asks of you! It was always so funny to hear other people up at church talk about the “secret buddy” treats, and it was always someone new every week, so I have absolutely no idea how far these sugary confections traveled throughout the church and camp. Apparently I’ve been one of the #1 suspects for quite a while now, despite my best sneaky efforts. Ah well, I’ve always known I’m a terrible liar.. there are worse things, right?? :)
And I have to say, being able to sample the new recipes each week wasn’t so bad either ;) There were a lot of new favorites, but this recipe for peanut butter dark chocolate chip cookies might be the most popular one of the summer, so I thought I’d share one of the secret buddy treats with you all! Make a batch, but be prepared to share with friends, otherwise you will eat every single one!
Here’s the line up you will need for these peanut butter treats…
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 heaping cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup dark (or milk chocolate) chips
First in a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and peanut butter, and stir until its completely smooth then set aside to cool. Go ahead and make that “heaping” 1/3 cup of PB overflow a little more.. you’ll thank me later, i promise. Measure out the brown and white sugars, and then mix the cooled peanut butter mixture with the sugars until fully combined. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Slowly add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the mixture. I have to add a little bit of the flour mixture at a time, otherwise as soon as the mixer gets turned on half the flour ends up on my floor!
Now comes the good stuff. Once the dough forms, fold in the chocolate chips. Originally the recipe called for regular milk chocolate chips, but I had dark chocolate chips on hand and knew that some of the directors preferred dark to milk chocolate, so I went with it! Go ahead and let that cup overflow too when you measure them out, you know you want to, its okay, no dark chocolate judgment here… Roll just under golf ball sized balls and place two inches apart. These don’t spread out TOO much, so you can put them a little closer than normal. Make for 10-12 minutes until edges are golden! YUM! grab a cup of milk, and try not to eat the entire thing. best of luck to you :)