Last month we put out Summer Staff Interviews Part I, so here is Part II.
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The Summer Staff are a critical part of our summer camp programs.
David Rockensock tells us about his experience in the Teleios program.
We are please to announce our 2018 Summer Staff!
Summer Staff 2017
Preseason is just a few days away and the team will assemble at camp soon. Preseason training will be intense but the team will be ready when the regular season opens. Opening day will be here before we know it! No, I’m not talking about baseball, I’m talking about the 2017 Living Waters Bible Camp Summer Staff. June 7th marks the arrival of our exceptional team members who will be serving this summer.
Fifteen young people will commit the next 2 and half months of their lives to serving the Lord at camp. Their duties will vary from answering phones to facilitating nature programs. Each one will go through a week and a half of training, while a few first timers will continue for two more weeks of training in Foundation Camp. All of this training will prepare the team for seven weeks of intense service.
Please pray for these young people. Serving on Summer Staff can be one of the most spiritually and physically challenging experiences of a lifetime. Pray that the team has hearts and minds prepared to continue the mission and goals of camp, and that they stay focused throughout the summer.
This year’s staff includes; Lydia Dietz in Guest Services, Jmee Felten in Dorm/Kitchen, Aubrey Hart in Photography, Rebekah Loew in Program, Kellyn Maurer in Marketing/Media, Lydia Siler in Program, Jacob Campbell in Program, Kristin Green in Program, Caleb Hadley in Program, Ethan Hart in Video, Makala Willette in Kitchen, Joelle Cannon in Office.
If you would like to contribute to these young adults serving at camp please visit the donor page. We hope you make it down to camp this summer to meet each one of them!
As the summer schedule wrapped up in August, most of the summer staff went back to school or other jobs. However, we were privileged to have three staff that committed to serving for three more months. Jediah and Adelle Partenheimer and Rebekah Loew served a vital role during our busy retreat season. Their time at camp has come to an end and they will be heading home soon. I sat down with each of them to ask them about their experience.
Why do you serve at Living Waters?
Jediah's first response was a robust "It's the best camp!" After further thought they all agreed that it was the joy of leading nature programs and working with the other staff. Jediah concluded with, "It is a meaningful place to impact people for Christ while learning so much."
How did the retreat season differ from the summer season?
Adelle answered "Busier! There are more needs and less staff make it happen." However, that has a plus side. Rebekah pointed out that when a group comes to camp you get to know them better than you do a summer camper because you are with them for more activities. "In the summer, I led my one program and only saw each camper once." Rebekah continued, "In the fall I facilitated several activities with the same group and got to know the guests better."
What did you do in the evening?
"If we weren't working we were at a Bible study," was the summary of the answer. Bible studies, prayer meetings or group fellowship are available every night, Sunday to Thursday in the camp community.
What was the most challenging task?
- Number 2 was staying up until 1:30am with the Ladies Retreat. "Those ladies like to talk."
- Number 1 was cutting down all the Buckthorn around camp. "It can be painful."
Rebekah shared a story from her time facilitating a nature program. She explained how her group stepped out of the nature center to observe the ropes which outline the dimensions of Noah's Ark. The ropes are very high and very long. She said one boy looked up and exclaimed "Holy Hannah! That's bigger than my house!"
All in all they agreed that their experience at camp has been rewarding and life altering. They are thankful for the time to be a part of the ministry and are sad about leaving. We are sad to see them go and pray the Lord will provide strong workers again next year!
Summer camps are complete and summer campers, volunteers and staff have gone home. The first day without campers in the valley is always an eerie feeling. Too quiet but it doesn't last long. Soon after summer, social media lights up with photos from the summer. Pictures and comments about "the most amazing summer ever" and "I will miss you guys!" flood the internet. We all have those most cherished moments from camp but what makes it really special is the unity we experience through Jesus Christ. My favorite social media post was from summer staffer Aubrey Hart, who said, "Friendship is a beautiful thing. But how much more radiant it becomes when Christ is the common bond! Until next time friends!"
What is it about camp that creates these intense, powerful and lasting relationships? It is two things. First it is, as Aubrey mentioned, the common bond of our Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, it is the spiritual growth and training that occurs through disciplining.
Living Waters Bible Camp uses God's Word and Adventures in His creation to help build servant hearted, sold-out followers of Christ. Jesus Christ, and His wondrous love for us, is why we are here and is the message we share with every camper that comes in the valley. It is the very person of Jesus Christ which permeates our relationships and unites us as one. At camp, nearly everyone you meet is a bother or sister in Christ. It is fertile ground for Godly relationships.
Discipleship is the other ingredient to building memorable relationships at camp. Jesus often took His disciples away for the purpose of teaching and training. It is this process of getting away from our daily busyness, spending time in God's creation with like minded people and serving one another that refuels us spiritually and challenges us to grow.
At Living Waters discipleship occurs when one generation proclaims God's glory to the next. It happens in the dorms, in the classroom, at the pool and in the chapel. We have always been intentional about the training and equipping which occurs at camp. Living Waters has created an environment where people can slow down and spend time in God's Word, spend time in His Creation and spend time with His people.
If you would like to help make sure this ministry is here for future campers please consider offering a contribution. We are nearing the end of our financial year and your gift makes a significant difference in the success of this ministry.
From the mountains of Wyoming to the valley of Living Waters.
Hailing from the mountainous, largely desert state of Wyoming comes two of our young, intrepid Summer Staff. Meet Jediah and Adelle Partenheimer! (affectionally known to the camp staff as “Jedelle”)! You may recognize them, as they’ve both worked at camp individually, before they got married in August of 2015. But this summer, they are serving together at camp for the entire summer, as Summer Staff. Why? Well there is quite the story as to how God directed them to camp this year, and you would have to ask them in order to get all the details, but it involves moving half of their belongings to Oregon, and then re-routing to Wisconsin!
Jediah is a hard working, gentle spirited guy who loves a good joke. Other than his muscles, you’d never guess that he has won Wyoming State Championships in Tae Kwon Do. He takes the memorization of scripture very seriously and can do more than just hold his own in a spiritual conversation. He has already contributed so much to the Living Waters facilities and environment, and the summer is only just beginning.
Adelle is our resident artist! (a very talented one, at that!) She has put her fingerprints and brushstrokes all over our dinosaur-themed carnival games we have planned for the summer. She loves to work alongside her husband (and vise versa) and you’d be hard pressed to find them separated at any time of day.
And Camp is just one in a series of adventures this couple’s had in the last nine months. Two of their favorite pastimes are elk hunting in Wyoming, and street witnessing in Oregon. They are both excited to see what God has in store for this summer, and so are we!
As the snow is finally melted (we hope) here in Wisconsin, and spring is coming into full bloom, you might be asking…”What would make someone “crazy” enough to commit to working a full summer at Living Waters Bible Camp?” Let’s direct that question towards someone with a lot of experience. Camp kid and long-time volunteer, Jmee Felten, has recently decided to join the ranks of summer staff and can tell you all about her decision!
How did you get involved with Living Waters in the first place?
Jmee was basically raised at camp, since her dad was one of the founding fathers. She went through all the stages that anyone who regularly goes to camp does. For most of her childhood, she was a camper, and then when she was old enough she volunteered as kitchen help, dishwashing for a whole summer. But she wanted to explore serving in other areas of camp to find her “niche.” The following year, she trained at Foundation Camp so that she could become a dorm-leader. Once she graduated from highschool, she took a few years away from camp to focus on school and work.
What drew you back to camp the second time?
God must have wanted Jmee back at camp, because He gave her a “thorn in her flesh” to help her start thinking about serving at camp again. She recalls, “In March of 2005, I found out that I was in need of a liver transplant to save my life, and from then on I haven't been able to have a job because of the stress it can cause on my body. And so after having two transplants I found myself with a lot of free time, one day I noticed on Facebook that they needed help at camp in the dorm leading area and I inquired about it and haven't stopped ever since.”
What prompted you to join the full-time summer staff this year?
“It was during my time dorm leading that I got to feel what it was like to lead a camper to Christ, and it was then I felt led by the Lord that this is where He wants me to serve right now. He may have other plans later on, but for now I believe he is leading me to camp.”
Would you recommend summer staff to others?
“I would highly recommend becoming Summer Staff!!! You get so many things from it!!!! You get to grow in his Word by having studies with the staff, you get to grow in your knowledge in everyday things, you get to have a bond with campers that you meet throughout the summer, and you get another family. The Summer Staff Family.”
Well folks, you’ve heard it from one of the greats! Joining the ranks of summer staff at Living Waters Bible Camp may be an experience you will never forget. My encouragement to you is (and I think Jmee would agree) to pray about it! Ask God how He would like you to serve Him this summer, and if He’s leading you to-- come be a part of our family!