Most mornings the sun rises above the lake and leaves a reflection of oranges and pinks. The water shimmers from the sun and there is a stillness which rests over the entirety of camp as the campers still rest and the cabin leaders each find a spot to spend their first hour of the day alone in the presence of God. For one hour the grounds of camp are still and this is where your day begins.
Soon after you are met with the smiles of your campers who your assistant cabin leader helped wake up and get them going for the day. They greet you with stories of their short mornings and they talk to you with excitement for the day. The dining hall fills with chants and joyful laughter as the campers and staff enjoy their meals. Each day is filled with two chapel sessions, cabin devotionals, and a plethora of games and memories which last forever. You go through each day getting to know the 10 campers who you share a cabin with for a week. You hear about the most random facets of their lives such as the scrape on their knee they got when they were 8, yet you also hear the most heartfelt and meaningful moments of their lives. They entrust you with their doubts and fears as well as their hopes and questions of God and life. You become a moment in time in which, surrounded by God’s goodness and the peaceful presence of camp, the camper is able to be vulnerable and you are able to be a small part of their journey with Christ. God’s path for each camper is different but you have the special role of being the cool camp counselor who was full of joy and who showed the love of Christ daily to their campers.
You close the day out with playing the silliest yet most competitive games with the entirety of camp. Most nights you get sweaty and gross trying to outrun the other staff and also trying to find the most unique ways to get across the boundaries in order to win for your team. These are the moments that you are able to build connections with the campers as they are dispersed across the field each playing their own part in the team. The game closes and together you all go to chapel for one last session of the day which are followed by cabin devotionals. The length always varies but this is the last moment of your day to be that light for Jesus. As the campers head to bed, you as the staff member are able to worship twice a week amongst your fellow staff in complete serenity before the Lord. It was the moments in the chapel, sitting on the floor with my legs crossed, hearing the voices of the staff sing so sweet and soft in worship to the Lord that I felt at peace with where I was at for my summer.