Following any set of standards, of course, does not guarantee a place in God’s Kingdom. However, we have experienced the spiritual blessings that result from incorporating high standards of conduct and deportment in the Piedmont program. The camp codes are based on principles from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. We understand that there will be differences of interpretation in certain areas, and that we are all growing. Still, for the unity and well being of the camp, we ask that all staff bring an open mind and a willingness to happily support and pattern the camp codes.
Campers will watch each staff member. Critical spirits and defiant or skeptical attitudes can spread poison throughout the camp. On the other hand, a positive and enthusiastic Christian witness will be noted, remembered, and copied. This week of camp will have eternal results. Our witness determines whether these results of camp will be good or evil. For this reason, before applying, each potential staff member should prayerfully consider each of the following areas to determine whether he or she can comfortably comply with Piedmont’s position.
Food on the camp menu does not include meat, dairy products, or harmful chemicals. It is also low in fats and sugars. The camp cooks go out of their way to make sure the food is tasty and appetizing. However, many campers will find it very different from anything they have had before. Will you be enthusiastic and appreciative—or will you groan about the food and sneak Mars Bars and Dr. Pepper on the side?
All camp staff should have made a conscious decision to put aside any form of entertainment that leads away from the principles of God’s Kingdom. Even if you refrain from such activities during camp, you can still exert a negative influence by talking enthusiastically (and too knowledgeably) about rock groups, TV shows, movies, popular music, and entertainers, etc. The motto of every staff member should be the words of Philippians 4:8. We also suggest that each applicant read The Adventist Home, chapters 79–83, before applying.
We encourage comfortable interchanges between the genders. However, camp staff members must avoid frivolous conversations, silly laughter, inappropriate eye or bodily contact, and other marks of flirtation with the opposite sex. Staff members who have not completed their education should not be involved in romantic relationships.
In any case, staff members should refrain from courting activity during camp time. Your time and energy must be focused on the campers—not on a relationship. Although it is not inspired, we recommend the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye for its excellent principles in this area. We will also gladly supply Spirit of Prophecy statements for those who would like to research this more.
Competition is contrary to the principles of God’s Kingdom. God instructs us to “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another” (Romans 12:10). Teachers and leaders of camp activities will avoid competition between campers. Just as important, staff members should not be avid fans of competitive sports, either as participants or spectators. Discussion and references to sports teams should be avoided.
“A person’s character is judged by his style of dress. A refined taste, a cultivated mind, will be revealed in the choice of simple and appropriate attire.” Evangelism, p. 672.
An interesting study for all staff members would be to look up all Spirit of Prophecy references for “clothing.” In brief, staff clothing should be suitable, well fitting, economical, neat, and modest. While clothing should be becoming, staff should avoid styles that call attention to themselves or might be a stumbling block to others. The camp dress codes are as follows:
Staff ladies should bring sturdy skirts and dresses that allow a full stride and fall below the knee. Any slits need to end below the knee. Choose denims or khakis that can withstand hiking and exercises. Pants under a fingertip-length top are appropriate for Wilderness Survival only. For Canoeing, a fingertip-length top worn over knee-length shorts may be worn. Not allowed: sleeveless (or very short-sleeved) tops, revealing necklines, short tops exposing skin at the waistline, and sheer or form-fitting attire. Other items to avoid: cosmetics, nail polish, jewelry, and gaudy hair decorations.
Clothing of staff men should also be able to withstand the rigors of camp life. Items to avoid: shorts (except knee-length shorts for Canoeing), tank tops, sagging, very wide-legged, or ripped pants. Shirts should be tucked in. Hats should not be worn backwards or indoors.
Both men and ladies should avoid any clothing containing suggestive pictures or wording or advertising competitive sports. All staff members should be careful to avoid body odor or any other personal uncleanliness. Clothing and hairstyles should not reflect fads.
What if you don’t agree?
Some camp codes are simply codes we have chosen to apply to the Piedmont Camp program. Others we believe to be Divine principles. We recognize that there may be sincere differences of opinion in the application of these principles, particularly in diet, dress, and social relations. If you find yourself opposed to any of the camp codes, we suggest that you prayerfully study the matter out for yourself. If, after doing this, you still feel you cannot joyfully comply with the camp codes with an open mind and heart, we suggest that you personally dialogue with us before you apply.
Much more important than rigidly following any external standard, is having a heart open to following God in every detail of life. This is the kind of person God can use in performing a real heart work in the lives of the campers.
Are you interested in joining us in this adventure as either a camper, counselor, or a staff member?