I worked at a camp called @pinecove for 4 summers as a camp counselor for middle schoolers. After having gone to the camp from 1st-12th grade, it was some of the most fun I’ve had in my entire life to be on the reverse side and pour into campers the same way I had been.
While I worked there, there was one thing that brought the counselors to near tears. “CQ’s.” Even the word sends a cramp straight to my fingers and a chill up my spine. “CQ” stands for Character Qualities. At the end of each week, counselors wrote 3-4 sentences for each of their 7-8 campers affirming the character qualities seen in them that week. Every CQ had to be unique and you couldn’t use the same character quality for more than one camper. There was even a panel of handwriting and spelling judges who critiqued and sent you back to rewrite if there was so much as an “e” that didn’t hit the bottom line. We wrote these in one night (and came back in the morning if we couldn’t finish). At my absolute worst, I had to write 32 CQ’s in permanent sharpie before perfecting the final 8.
The reason such emphasis was placed on the perfection of these small cards was because campers and their parents would keep these cards for life. I know, because I kept every single one of my CQ’s from my time at camp. These cards weren’t just words on paper, they were full of life giving words that plucked out the character seen in each camper and elegantly displayed them on paper. But not only would we give them the CQ, we would read them aloud on closing day in front of the other campers in the cabin and their parents. On many occasions I had campers and parents cry. Shoot, who am I kidding, I held back tears as well! No amount of finger cramping or tired night could make those moments not worth being sent back to rewrite a card time and time again.
When Josh and I started dating, we would write letters while I was at camp. Since counselors couldn’t have their phones during the week at camp, writing one another was all Josh and I had until 24 hours on the weekend when we could talk on the phone. Writing spilled over after camp and I continued to write him letters affirming who he was to me and all that I appreciated about him. As time went by after marriage those letters became far and few in between and eventually landed on special holidays.
Going through a box of old things recently, I discovered my old CQ’s and felt tears well up in my eyes as I read the life-giving and character affirming words of my child-hood counselors. I remembered the effort and time I put into each CQ then remembered the letters I use to pour my heart into for Josh and the feeling he must have felt when he received them. So, I decided to challenge myself to write him a CQ affirming who he is to me and the kids.
So here comes the challenge wives.
Print the below CQ template or write yours on paper.
Using the character qualities from the list below, write 3 sentences using 3 qualities (in your best handwriting!)
Post a photo of your CQ or husband with the CQ, even better, record your husband with the CQ while you read it to him for the first time!
Post your CQ to your feed or story with the hashtag #CQsforzaddy yes… #CQsforzaddy by May 29th and @karissfarris so I don’t miss it!
The point is that you write one, give it to your husband, and post it for your community to see how absolutely outstanding your husband is to you.
I’ll be choosing a random winner (or maybe not random if a husband’s response is epic) and will send a really good mama prize to one blessed mama!
Every once in a while, we counselors would have a camper who made it REALLY difficult to identify at least 3 character qualities. We didn’t get to not write one because it was hard. We chose to see the wonderful qualities that God gifted each camper, even if we had to dig a little.
So, if you have dig a little, dig!