The Camp Director

Leadership, Technology, Training, Staff Recruitment, Marketing, Child Development, Risk Management

The Camp Director header image 2

Letters to John #1: When a Camp Staff Member is Critically Injured

July 23rd, 2008 · No Comments · Crisis Response, John Murphy

Reposted from my the guest book entry at:

Camp staff member, John Murphy, fell from a 4th story window (not at camp) in the early morning hours on Saturday, July 19 2008.  We know that John and his dear friend (also a staff member) had gone to bed and John must have gotten hot in the night and tried to open a window that was stuck and he lost his footing.  He is in a coma and very critical condition due to the severe head trauma.  Updates can be found in the journal at this site.

John MurphyWEDNESDAY, JULY 23, 2008 01:41 AM, CDT

John –
You would have been proud of all your friends at camp today. Everyone is pressing-on through inwardly their heart aches for you. It was great to see everyone trying to find some ways to laugh during their day. They are beginning to see that their own heart and mind needs healing as much as your physical body does. We all can’t be a wreck when you wake up – it is then that you will need us all even more. At Blue Camp we play hard, laugh hard, and cry hard. Nothing is half-way. Staff are starting to remember that balance and they know there is no better way to honor who you are to us than playing, competing, and laughing – it is the JMurph way. We all have our inward struggle and grief as your absence has left a big hole in the personality of camp. I bet you had no idea just how cool everyone thinks you are.

The soccer team will miss you tomorrow – you did score our first goal this summer. You’ll be glad to know your Group 6 is giving their new camp leader an equally hard time. Your group of kids in particular seems to bring the most trouble and humor all at the same time.

I figured you are going to be reading all these at some point and you may want some details of what you missed. I know everyone was making trips to the hospital to keep you posted on all the deails: the floater in the pool, which of your campers called the other a butt head, etc. Seems like your nurses finally had enough of the steady stream of traffic and we were all sequestered from your bedside. Hopefully the peace and quiet today allow for some serious rest and recovery.

I forgot to tell you yesterday that your most famous camp parent from Session 2 called me personally to thank me for making sure camp was great for his son. We both know it was all you chasing down water bottles and digging hats out of the sand.

Everyone who knows you is ready to do anything to see you healed. Prayers and the most positive thoughts are pouring out on your behalf. It is testing the faith of many as we struggle with why God would allow this to happen to someone like you. To quote Mother Teresa, ‘When I see God, he has a lot of explaining to do!’

Romans 8:28
‘In the midst of everything that is happening, God is at work cooperating with those who love Him, to bring about good.’

Jennifer Selke
Berkeley, CA
United States

Additional John Murphy links:
John’s “thanks for letting me work at camp” video
John in the 2007 Camp Dance Off
Letters to John #1: July 23, 2008
Letters to John #2: August 2, 2008
Letters to John #3: August 9, 2008
Letters to John #4: August 29, 2008