and the summer hasn’t even begun . . .

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I’m currently sitting in the room pictured above. You’re looking at an enormous gorgeous window that overlooks the 110 steps and the field below. To the right of the picture is a large brick wall with a fireplace at the bottom, and a mounted moose directly above the fireplace on the bricks. Above me, and you can sort of see it in the reflection, is a second level wrap-around, sort of like a wide catwalk. For the past week, this room has been packed with people from all over the country. People with different stories, different families, different schools, different personalities, different interests, different styles. And we’ve been gathered here to unite under the banner of the Gospel, which we will share with almost 1000 campers every week this summer.

What a crazy past two weeks it has been. My first week here was for “May staff,” which is when summer staff are asked to come early, if possible, to do some pre-training preparation of the campus. I was able to spend time with a great group of about twelve staff from different departments, as we cleaned windows, bleached bathhouses, hosed down screens, stocked closets and bathrooms, vacuumed, stained, organized mattresses, and did anything else they thought of for us to do! It was wonderful getting to see so much behind-the-scenes work here. The rest of the summer staff started to arrive as early as Thursday of that week; and by Saturday evening, the quiet camp that had only had a handful of people was full of laughter and reunions and young adult voices.

Sunday we all gathered for challenging sermons in the GHQ, and every day for the rest of the week we had session after session. Team meetings, program strategy sessions, safety information, choir practice, games/activities information, crisis counseling sessions, and so much more. We got to ride the new zipline that goes over amazing waterfalls, and do team-building activities. I’ve laughed so hard I cried, and actually cried when I prayed for the campers that I’m sure to meet this summer with hurting hearts. I’ve met so many people and seen so much green (ECG!) and learned so much and gotten so worn out, and it has been completely amazing.

There is so much I wish I could express to you that I’ve learned! Many times this week I felt completely overwhelmed by all the information I was given. We had church services every night, and every single sermon was convicting and demanded a response. All the sessions, with schedules or necessary safety precautions or the philosophy behind why we ____, made me wonder if my brain could even hold any more. And, if I’m honest, I am afraid that I’ll forget everything I need to know when I meet my campers. I’m afraid of missing an event or activity, of not saying the right thing at the right time, of not being enthusiastic enough, of missing out on something because I’m focused on me instead. But God has given me two great scriptures that I’ve been meditating on over the past few days. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” I’ve just been thinking about how I am completely insufficient in and of myself, but how sufficient Christ is. He is the balance between me being confident and thinking I can do it on my own, and me being completely terrified and frozen in my incompetency. It’s about Him. The other verse that has become my goal for the summer is 2 Corinthians 12:15, which says “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you, though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” I want to be completely spent and exhausted and drained in every possible way at the end of every week.

It’s been an adventure already. And the summer hasn’t even began. Less than 18 hours and campers begin to arrive . . . let’s do this.

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