Today is the first day of the sixth week of camp, and it also starts the eighth week that I’ve been here. It’s crazy to me that we’ve been here for almost two months. We often say at camp that “the days are long but the weeks are short”. And that is so true. I constantly feel like I live four normal days in one camp day, but at the end of each week I’m saying, “How did we get here again?”. The weeks have truly flown by.
This summer has been incredibly challenging, which is something I’d prayed about but didn’t fully expect the challenges I’ve had. From being incredibly distracted by home life or even people at camp, to having to work with some people who are going through some hard things, it’s made my summer challenging. This summer is turning out a lot different than I expected it to, and I’m truly learning that it is okay that it’s different than I’d expected. However, that doesn’t lighten the load exactly.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve felt like I was watering a plant that just doesn’t grow. I’ve been incredibly exhausted–emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I’ve felt like I’ve been pouring into lots of people, doing lots of behind the scenes tasks, and working hard without much to show for it. I’ve struggled with my purpose for being here, and at one point, I even wanted to go home.
We have a program at camp that last two weeks; they are our mountaineers. We just finished our largest session of mountaineers, which had two cabins of boys and girls. For some reason, these boys carved a place in my heart, and I in theirs. Every time they would come to the trading post, they would come to see me or talk to me. They would chant my name as I walked through the dining hall, they left me notes when I checked their cabins each day (for cleanliness), and they made me laugh a lot. As far as campers go, they were the ones I got to know the best. On Thursday night, the last night of their two weeks, one of them stood up at our worship service and shared that he had accepted Christ as His Savior and Lord during his time at camp.
And it hit me.
That’s why we do it. That’s why I stayed up until 12:30 in the morning doing laundry. That’s why I go to Sam’s and buy incredibly large amounts of candy and drinks so that campers can share a Coke with their counselor for half an hour. That’s why I wash and dry (and dry and dry and dry) and fold our staff’s laundry (with the help of the ACITs). That’s why I go to Senior Staff meetings. That’s why I wait to eat until after campers have food. That’s why I discipline even when I don’t want to. That’s why I’m tired every single day.
So that campers can come here, have a fabulous time in a beautiful location, and meet Jesus face-to-face. And what a phenomenal privilege that is.