Giving back

At times camping can be an intense ministry.  QCCC hosts up to 35,000 people each year across its three sites, Mapleton takes up to 20,000 of them.  If you break that down a little further, it equates to around 400 guests each week through Mapleton, often juggling several groups at the same time.  In the 2009/10 financial year the QCCC Mapleton kitchen produced 135,000 meals.  It makes for a very busy existence! 

Monday's lunch. A quick shot off the iPhone while öfficial"photos were being taken.


Something I’ve learned over the years (from both experience and also experiencing the opposite) is that it is a good idea to occasionally take stock and celebrate one’s successes.  With the financial year concluded, and Mapleton having its busiest and most successful year, the Mapleton manager and I decided to put on a mid-year staff lunch to break up the 12 months between the annual staff Christmas Party. 

Staff events and celebrations can be a tricky one in camping.  At your fingertips you have a big staff body expert in hospitality, a commercial kitchen and everything else required for a staff party.  But putting the show on “home turf” can detract from the aim of the event, which is to reward staff, celebrate achievement and provide a relaxing break from normality. 

So this last Monday we took the staff party to the breathtaking Flaxton Gardens, just down the road.  And perhaps the best thing about the day was having someone else host our staff and give them the care and attention that they’re used to providing to our own guests.  The views off the Blackall Range are breathtaking, but sometimes when you live up here it’s a case of familiarity breeds ambivalence.  To have the time to sit on the edge of the Range and enjoy the sweeping views over the Sunshine Coast was a great reminder for us all about why people come to us!  We’re very blessed to live where we do. 

The local paper recently carried a story about a bankrupt boss sending his staff an abusive letter suggesting some of them were to blame for the demise of his business.  It reinforced to me what we all know, but still need to be reminded of frequently.  Our staff are the most important part of a successful camping ministry.  You can have the best activities and the most comfortable beds, but if your staff exude a spirit of resentment and grumpiness, it can kill an incoming camp.  

That's not a cake - this is a cake!


Days like Monday are about building into the life of our staff community – giving something back to them (particularly giving them the chance to enjoy the type of hospitality that we would want our guests to enjoy when they come to us) and taking time out from the busyness of life to celebrate the very many good things that take place in our facility.  

A couple of postscripts:  Firstly, I couldn’t resist reproducing a photo of this enormous cake baked for one of the staff having a birthday last week.  See what I mean about the benefits of living and working in a place that has great facilities and talented people? 

Secondly, a big thanks to Alan and Georgina Thompson and their team at Flaxton Gardens for a wonderful day.


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