Meet the Deans: Robin Giberson Lawrenz

Name: Robin (Giberson) Lawrenz
Nickname: Splinner, Shaka, Robs
Hometown: originally Port Republic, NJ, but now I’m living north of Boston
Occupation: full time mom to my 3 month old son, Judah (aka the most awesome kid ever!)
Home Church: First Congregational Church of Essex, MA
Education: B.A. in Christian Education from Wheaton College
Family: Husband- Jason Lawrenz, Son- Judah; You may know my mom (Niki Giberson) and sisters (Amy Plew & Megan Benson) from Delanco years gone by.
Years Attending Delanco Camp: 23
Years as Dean: This is my first, officially, but I helped my mom dean a few Junior Camps about 6-8 years ago.
Fondest Camp Memory: It was back in 2001, Junior High 1. The Port Republic gang (Matt Kay, Andrew Strickland, Andy Cohen, my sisters, and I) were leading worship that week. It was Tuesday night, and God showed up in a major way. It’s hard to describe, but it was like the heavens just opened up, and we were all standing in His presence, singing our hearts out and worshiping Him with everything we had. There have been a lot of nights like that at Delanco, but that was the first and most powerful one I can remember. God did some really amazing things that night–so many lives were changed!
Favorite snack from the store: The Toll House version of a chipwich. Mmm-mm good.
Favorite camp meal: Pepperoni pretzel sandwiches, without a doubt. I’m pretty sure they are on the menu in heaven.

Favorite camp activity: I can’t choose just one. I really love morning devotions when the whole camp is quiet. I love hanging out at the craft shop and playing basketball during free time. I love singing in chapel and evening service. I love taking walks around the grounds. I love playing ultimate frisbee on the soccer field, especially in the rain. I love praying at the alter–so much history there. I love catching up and hanging out with old camp buddies. I love running around the woods during night games. All day every day is packed with way too much goodness to pick a favorite thing.

Favorite camp night game: One year, I put together a night game based on the movie The Goonies. Campers got a map of different stations where they had to do things with the characters (like the Truffle Shuffle with Chunk, set booby traps with Data, etc.) in order to collect marbles. When they had all their marbles, they had to find One-Eyed Wally, who would give them their treasure. I’m not really sure how much the campers got since the movie is from 1985, but I had a blast setting it up.

Elevator Testimony: I think I’ve always known that there was a God, that I fell far short of perfection, and that He sent Jesus to die to close the gap between us. There have been times when I’ve doubted His forgiveness and His goodness; but thankfully, God is faithful and strong enough to handle my doubts. Even in my very darkest times, He has never let me go. My life has been a constant journey of learning to trust Him and Him proving Himself trustworthy every time. I know that He loves me and that all of my sin is covered, and so I try to live my life in light of those truths.

How did you first discover Delanco Camp? My mom was the craft lady/counselor/dean of women for teen camp starting when I was 4. My sisters and I were scampers for years. The rest is history.

What is a dean and what made you want to be a dean? A dean’s main responsibility is to set the tone for the week by picking out a theme, putting together an awesome weekly staff, and planning exciting ways to make the week unforgettable. I am so excited to be a dean because I love putting together all the individual pieces to make one awesome, cohesive experience. It’s been so fun and exciting to be able to plan camp from the very beginning stages, praying through a theme and praying for all of the staff and campers and seeing how God has already begun to work.

What’s the theme for your week and why? The theme for Teen 1 is NOW. It comes from 2 Corinthians 6:2– “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” Matt Kay and I went through a lot of options for Teen 1’s theme, and we finally came to NOW because we want to give campers (and staff as well) the opportunity to look at salvation as something that starts now and drastically changes the way we live as believers. We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to experience the Kingdom of God. It’s a present reality! As much as we can give mental assent to those truths, I often struggle with questions like, “What difference does being a Christian make in my day-to-day life?” and “How can I be a part of the Kingdom of God on earth?” and “What does that look like?!?” During Teen 1, we’re going to dive into those sorts of questions and hopefully gain a vision of what God calls us to be and how we can live out that calling NOW. Because NOW is the time of God’s favor; NOW is the day of salvation!

Why should people come to camp the week you are in charge? I can absolutely guarantee that if you come to Teen 1, you will leave with a deeper knowledge of God and who He calls you to be in the midst of His grand narrative for the world. You’ll learn some new creative ways to liven up your devotional times with God. You’ll be challenged and encouraged and stretched. You’ll build some really great relationships. Basically, you’ll have an awesome week. I guess that’s true for any week at Delanco. But I can only guarantee it for Teen 1.

What surprises do you have in store? Well, if I told you, they wouldn’t be surprises! But I can say that we have Rick Court back as the evangelist this year. And Mike Ralph and Nick Bliss will be running the night activities, so you know they’re gonna be good. If you want to see who else will be there, you can check out our facebook page HERE. While you’re there, feel free to join and post about what you’d like to see at camp, and we’ll try to incorporate your ideas. Maybe we’ll even have a prize for the most creative idea! Let’s brainstorm, people!

What are you most looking forward to this summer? Obviously, I am REALLY looking forward to camp. Delanco is always the highlight of my summer. It seems like no matter who’s there or what the program is, Delanco is a place where God shows up. It’s undeniable.

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