When the realization that my final days of high school were vastly approaching, I began to ask myself what I would do with my life. From that point, the thoughts began to creep in of what things I could do to help better prepare myself for the future that was being pushed upon me. Seeing that I have known since a young age that I wanted to be an educator, my exploration of a summer job that would involve surrounding myself with children began. After endless hours of internet searching for the job that would best suit me, I discovered a Christian summer camp that was very much a place that would cease to leave my mind for the next few days.
Days passed by and prayers were sent up when I finally came to realize that this was the job I needed. Working at a Christian summer camp would be a great job for any young person because it is a way to spread God’s word with young girls, push limits and set new goals, and it exposes the counselor to see what teachers and educators face on a day to day basis.
God’s word always needs to be shared with everyone but more especially to the youth. God has always been a huge part of my everyday life. Finding a place where I would be able to share this joy was a priority I had. Camp Skyline was undeniably the place for that. Each night we would sit around a campfire just to hear the songs of the praises to God’s word. Voices as sweet and soft as honey would travel through the mountain air as if a bee on a summer day. Beneath that sound would be the faint crackling of the fire that blazed before us and faintly gave light to each face.
On Sundays we had “Skyline Church.” Everyone was to wear pure white on this day. Upon entering church I would see girls of all ages running around in white dresses that were catered to fit each of the hundreds of girls. During those next few hours praises would be lifted and hearts would be led to God as if a lost child in a store searching for a parent that would soon be recovered. Some knew where they were being led while others only knew of the joy that was overtaking the friends around them.
Blessings would overflow in my heart after seeing such tiny innocence find something that would forever change every life that heard His call. Pushing limits and setting new goals is a necessity to being a successful person. Challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone was definitely an ambition I had for the summer. My first class to assist in would be ropes. There I would send girls off of zip lines, unusually high swings, and belay girls to their destination at the top of the trees. The smell of sap growing on these large oak trees began to surround me as if cake escaping a bakery and surrounding the streets. My heart sank as I was assigned to be in the tree to send the girls off of the zip line.
As I was creeping my way up this never ending oak tree I realized that this is the adventure I had wanted. Capturing the top, I looked out to see the sun gleaming down and beautiful blue skies surrounding as if God himself had spent His morning painting that moment for me. Girls began to climb up and jump off with fright not being a possibility of thought. To my astonishment, panic had left my mind as well and peace had taken the place of that. By the end of those hours, I was just as eager to jump out of that tree only to be caught by a thin cable attached to black rope like a dog on a leash.
Teaching is very much underestimated much like being a camp counselor can be as well. Teaching is a desire that I have had for as long as I can remember. Being a summer counselor is very much like being a teacher in many ways. This job consists of continuous hours of helping children obtain a goal they have set for themselves and sometimes just being that comforting hand in a time of need. Encouragement and perseverance are the keys to succeeding in this job. When I walked around camp I could feel the desperation of achieving a task creeping through the air as if a robber in a bank. Much like teaching, counselors must give the reassurance that many children search for to help them succeed.
“You can do it!” is a phrase that is heard often throughout these wide open spaces. Nights are spent making sure they have enough sleep to help them be able to make it through the rest of camp while also allowing them to have fun during the experience. Waking up to find a girl standing over your bed saying she is sick is not a rare occurrence. Drama among the girls, cleanliness, sleepless nights, and being whatever support a girl needs in that moment can sometimes be challenging.
Nonetheless rewarding life lessons can still be learned in moments such as these. A job like this me a whole new appreciation for the people who are willing to spend endless hours with children like a teacher does on a day to day basis.
In closing, working at a Christian summer camp would be a great job for any young person because it is a way to spread God’s word with young girls, new limits will be set, and it exposes the counselor to see what teachers and educators face on a day to day basis. I recovered all of the goals I had set for myself for the same and was able to make new goals out of the experience as well. When leaving time came I had too many stories to be able to repeat and new standards set for myself to take home. My heart remains overjoyed today when I look back on the experiences I had. Smelling a strong odor can always take me back to the endless scent of dirty Chaco’s. Campers leave with dirty laundry and a stream of tears to follow for they dread seeing leaving day arrive. For me, I am already counting down days until opening day of camp next year while my heart searches for small things to take me back to that wonderful place on the mountain.