At the end of last summer, I was sitting on the porch of the dining hall with my friend/boss, Abby, and I had basically come to the conclusion that I wanted to work at camp again next (which is now this) summer. I told her that if I did work the next summer, I wanted to make it more of a challenge for myself. After breaking my ankle in 2011, I really made last summer as “easy” as possible. I didn’t get my full ropes certification–basically, I could do all of the things on the ground that are required for our ropes courses, but nothing in the air. I also didn’t hike to our campout–I was incredibly scared I was going to break a bone again and rode up in the truck with one of the other staff members. And, by working in the office, I didn’t have too much of a “challenging” job. I did things that came very natural to me, and I truly enjoy organizational/administrative tasks. So, the summer of 2013 had its challenges for sure, but I wanted to push and stretch myself in the summer of 2014.
I’ve been here a week, and I’ve already been challenged in phenomenal ways.
For senior staff training week, we start it off by spending three incredibly l.o.n.g. days doing our high ropes training. They were long days, emotionally and physically. By the third day, I was just completely done. I was over being 40+ feet in the air, I was over feeling sore, and I was over all of the information that had been thrown at me in a very small time frame. PLUS, I was so set on doing it fully this year that I was a bit on edge. To get off of our ropes course, we have to swing out, and it freaks me out every single time. I lost it on Sunday morning. I sat up on the edge with a few friends and our camp director and boo-hooed like a baby. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have any strength left. Needless to say, I thought I wasn’t going to finish my training, but at the end of the day, I sucked it up and did it! I was (and still am) so proud. It was really cool because I had a few friends who were super encouraging through the whole process, which was such a blessing from the Lord. And what I was reading in my devotional went along great with what I was going through. I really learned how to lean onto the Lord’s strength.
Last summer, I had the privilege of spending lots of afternoons/evenings with one of the sweetest little girls. It was no secret that I adored Anna, and I loved being loved on by that sweet girl. In December, the Dukes left camp to move to Maggie Valley and work with Outdoor Mission Camp. I love reading and hearing about what God is doing in their life now, but it is no secret that I miss that sweet family, specifically Anna. I didn’t realize how much I loved spending time with her at meals, going swimming with her when she would call me and ask me to, and just hanging out with their adorable family. Not having the Dukes this summer has certainly been a bit of a challenge for me.
Our campout was last night, and surprisingly, it was not too challenging. I may or may not have written in my journal right before leaving, begging God for joy for the campout. It’s not a shock to anyone that the campout isn’t my favorite thing about camp, but it was a fun experience last night. And I’m kinda sorta looking forward to the one we have with more staff next week.
While the summer has already definitely had some challenges, it’s also been so fun and joyful. I love getting to know new people that I haven’t worked with before, being in a new role as Trading Post Supervisor, and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. We have laughed, cried, worshipped, talked, prepared, and really soaked up these few days as just senior staff. I’m so looking forward to the rest of this summer!