Every year, around 15 young adults (12 this year) come together from various states to spend the summer working side-by-side. They leave their homes and families and exchange familiarity for novelty. They sacrifice their comfort zones for challenges and growth. Some are drawn by the opportunity to teach the campers about God’s creation through nature programs, while others want to serve behind-the-scenes--handling paperwork, guest services, and media. Many are in between making important life decisions, such as which college to attend, and they hope that a Christian camp experience will encourage them in the right direction. Others are simply drawn to the strong community of fellowship between believers and they find themselves coming back year after year. But the motive that truly brings all these people to the same place is the mission to glorify God by serving where He has called them.
A few of the 2017 summer staff shared some of their thoughts on their experience of camp so far:
What brings people to want to join summer staff (either for the first time or to return)?
“Past experience knowing how much I’ve been able to learn and grow here,” Lydia Siler describes as the reason she is about to spend her third summer on staff at Living Waters. Many experiences are meant to stretch a person and bring them out of their comfort zone enough to experience spiritual growth.
Another veteran, Aubrey Hart, adds, “Camp would not be camp without the people.” The community is strong because most are working towards the same purpose and have many shared experiences.
Kristin Green, a new addition to the team, hopes to work in camp ministry overseas one day and jumped at the opportunity to serve close to home in a similar environment. She says Living Waters is a “great way to be able to serve here and be used where I’m at.”
Fellowship. Encouragement. Growth. The chance to serve close to home and use the gifts God has blessed each person with. These are a few of the reasons that draw people to camp.
What is involved with training?
Summer staff members spend a week-and-a-half preparing for the campers. They go over camp policies and safety procedures and are trained to run activities such as the climbing wall. TAC (Team Adventure Challenge) is both a part of their team building and leadership training. Each department prepares them to assist the full-time staff in specific areas around camp.
Lydia Deitz recalls a highlight for her during the past week, “Definitely the trust fall,” she says. “It was way out of my comfort zone and it required me to rely on people who I didn’t know very well yet.”
Makala Willette mentions her highlight was “getting to know each other before the rush of summer.”
How can you pray for the summer staff?
Unity: Being able to work together as one is essential when so many people are involved.
Grace with one another: Lack of sleep and different personalities can contribute to tension or misunderstandings between people. Pray that the summer staff would be quick to listen and forgive.
Energy and endurance: Working at a computer and teaching a nature program both require mental/physical stamina. Also, without a maintenance summer staff position filled this year, the overall workload is increased for everyone.
An attitude of thankfulness! Energy is enough to “push through” a task but the goal is to fully take joy in the Lord and this ministry.
Focus: It is easy to get caught up in needs at home and decisions to be made after summer ends. While those things may need to be addressed, it is important to be able to focus on what needs to get done today so that those things outside of camp can be addressed at another time.
Above all, please pray that the summer staff would be a reflection of God’s glory, that all who come into contact with Living Waters Bible Camp would come to know the Creator better through how they are taught, loved and served by the staff.
If you would like to contribute financially to the summer staff please click here.