Kevin Krenk was dubbed Wil-E during adventure staff training before us counselors arrived at LVR. I’m not sure where the nickname came from. I don’t think he’s even really sure. But it’s the only way I’ve ever known him.

Wil-E is difficult to describe. I think I got to know him well, but also feel like I don’t know much about him at all. I’ll call him a man of mystery– he’ll probably like that.

Wil-E wasn’t one of the loud ones. He never got emotional or riled up about anything and he didn’t understand why anyone else did. His personality changed noticeably throughout the summer. I attribute it to his close friendship with Iceman. Wil-E started to take on Iceman’s sense of humor and love of attention. When the two hosted Shine Time together, Wil-E was an old prospector and Iceman dressed as his wife. They had a ridiculously funny dialogue that I got to watch briefly before going to my servant event’s talent show.

Also like Iceman, Wil-E claimed he would do anything for a story. I only wish I were vindictive enough to really test the claim. It could have created some pretty good stories. He did have a story of almost falling off a cliff when he lost his hand-carved walking stick, but I don’t think that was on purpose. He jumped into the Platte River once and had to camp under a tarp-tent in wet clothes. I don’t remember why he jumped into the river, but I’m sure it was cool. Once, on an adventure trip he was sure that a mountain lion was stalking him. There had been talk of a mountain lion at camp (we named it Fluffy) and it had everyone’s imaginations running high. When Wil-E heard a large animal in the woods, he was ready to fight. I can just picture him tensed in attack-mode, ready to shove his fist down a mountain lion’s throat when the beast emerged — a deer. Very intimidating.

I didn’t spend much time with Wil-E the first half of the summer, but something about him relaxed me during our down time together near the end of the summer. Maybe it was his mechanical engineer vibes that reminded me of Michael. Wil-E and I worked together during the second week of Bethesda, a group of developmentally disabled people. I admired his patience and gentleness when he worked with the Bethesda clients. We had an awesome servant event group of high schoolers who helped us that week and we did a lot of evening activities with them like bouldering, archery and tomahawks. Wil-E did a great job of balancing leadership responsibilities with being casual enough to develop friendships. My last camp activity of the summer before cleaning weekend was co-leading the servant event group on a sunset Cedar Mountain hike with Wil-E and Thin Mint. On the way up, Wil-E climbed inside the exploding tree to demonstrate how fire had burned it from the inside out. On the way down, the guys started knocking down charred, dead trees. By the time we reached the bottom, the entire group was covered in ash, including ash war paint on our faces. We made a sweet bonfire for them that night while the rest of the staff was busy cleaning.

I haven’t talked to Wil-E a lot since the summer ended, and I’m not sure if he’ll work at LVR again this summer. He’s busy being a smart guy at Purdue and trying to get an internship. But whatever God’s plans are for him, I hope we get to hang out again sometime.

{Thus ends my LVR staff blogs. Whew, that took forever!}


About Nicole

Daughter of God, wife, mother, volunteer youth leader, substitute teacher, aspiring writer, rabbit owner, nature lover. These are some of my titles.
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