Gene's Note: We are in Good Hands

I have to admit that my wife and I were crazy enough to camp “in the middle of a field” at the recent Country Crossings Music Festival. We were joined by two couples that we know from the Eugene and South Lane County area. We arrived early and lined our RV’s up next to each other and set up camp. With interest we watched as others began the process of setting up for the long weekend.  We are all in our 50’s and experienced campers so as the not so experienced campers began to set up, our interest sometimes turned into humorous entertainment.

As a young couple pulled up next to us in a brand new travel trailer with the temporary registration in the window we all watched with interest as the “rookie” parked his travel trailer. The folks that owned the travel trailer were a young couple in their 20’s and he impressed us with his abilities to park his new travel trailer, level it, and set up his new camp. Much to our disappointment there was no need for us experienced campers to come to the rescue of the newest resident of our campsite.

Our friends from up North are some of the best, most welcoming people you will ever meet, and they welcomed the young couple and their young son to the campground once they were set up. It was the friendly casual campground greetings that you never really know where they will go from there. So, fast forward to the next day and the young couple is away, but some of their friends show up to join them at the concert. Once again, the guests were invited into our camp and made to feel welcome. They were just friendly, nice, respectful and fun 20 somethings to be around. They didn’t treat us as we were old, and we didn’t treat them as they were young… even though they were younger than our children.

As one more person joined their group we learned that they were all connected by military service. An energetic and friendly young lady was still serving and another young mother still had reserve duties. The husband of the couple with the travel trailer was a police officer in a nearby community. All were still serving their communities in one way or another. To our surprise (or maybe it was fate) it ended up that our seats at the concert were actually right next to each other and we got to spend a lot of time over the weekend with these new found friends.

As we got to know them, we got to see a level of maturity and duty that was admirable. In one way or another they had already had life experiences that had challenged them and they chose to let those life experiences make them stronger. I was impressed with the stories of overcoming and rising above that someone in their 20’s should not have to experience. Yet, as I listened to these stories a sense of pride and hope overtook me.

Whether it is the media or the latest Facebook post we hear about all the problems with youth and the concerns about our future. I can tell you that after meeting several outstanding 20 somethings in a campground at a music festival… we are in good hands. I am honored to have met great young citizens that have served others, and still do. I am truly excited about our future with the sense of purpose and duty that I saw demonstrated by our new friends!

Postscript: I have to admit that as the leader of Rogue Credit Union I was extremely proud to know that the new travel trailer (with the sticker in the window and picked up the day before the concert) was made possible with Rogue Credit Union financing. The icing on the cake was when the young couple brought their morning coffee out in a Rogue Credit Union coffee mug. Where does that happen???

Well it happens in a dusty field in Southern Oregon….

and our coffee mug was in Good Hands!