I loved going to summer camp growing up, but for me it was never about going just because it was fun and the popular thing to do. I loved going because the counselors invested in who I was and truly wanted to know me and listen to what I had to say. That was a huge deal for me, because I got to know what it was like to truly be who I was and not feel judged for it.
I went to Christian summer camp in Arkansas for seven years growing up, and while I was attending camp I always dreamt of being having a job at a Christian summer camp as a counselor. Being a counselor to me was one of the coolest things ever. You got to be wild and crazy while talking to campers about Jesus! What more could you want? When I was finally old enough to apply to be a counselor, I applied the camp I grew up going too, but little did I know I would find my forever camp home all because one man got cancer.
My very first summer at camp Solgohachia happened because my mom was one of (camp director) Brandon’s nurses when he was in the hospital getting his cancer treatments. I worked as a part-summer staff counselor for four weeks, and they were the best four weeks of that summer. I knew I found my forever camp home when not only the other part-summer counselors knew my name, but so did the all-summer counselors and the leadership team. We were a family from the moment I met them all at staff training. They didn’t care that I didn’t grow up going to Camp Solgohachia or that I didn’t know where anything was. They still loved me and helped me get through the week even if it meant just being patient with me and helping me learn along the way.
Being a counselor at Camp Solgohachia summer camp is one of the best experiences I have ever had. There has never been one staff that has been better than the other, because they are all unique in their own ways. Being on staff for the past four years is something I will never regret. Not only has it helped me grow in who I am as a person, but it has also taught me how I can better grow in my relationship with the Lord. When I went to camp I thought that all the counselors knew everything about who God is and what He can do in our lives, but after being a counselor for the past four years, I’ve learned that no one will ever know everything about Jesus and there are always ways you can grow in your relationship with God. I can honestly say if I had not worked at camp four years ago, I would not be the person I am today.
This summer I am so excited about everything, but I am the most excited about meeting all the new counselors, whether they are a junior counselor or on the all-summer staff. In the past years I have been nervous about new staff, because I get convinced that no staff can top the previous year. Every year, of course, I am wrong and the staff is just as good as the previous year. This is the first year I already love the staff for this summer and I don’t even know who all is working. I am so excited for the new people to learn the ropes of Camp Solgohachia and get to experience of what our camp family is like. I also can’t wait to see past counselors and continue to grow in my relationship with them as well as God.
Camp Solgohachia 2018 can’t come fast enough!