Monday, October 22, 2012


"These are the times that try men's souls..."-Thomas Paine

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Now that's it's October {almost November} and I've had a significant amount of time  {almost 3 months} to process my summer spent as a counselor at summer camp...

week 1 "junior" campers. 8 and 9 yr olds!
week 4 "teen" campers 13-14 yr olds
week 7 "junior" campers 8-9 yr olds

I have come up with this.

This summer was tiring in every possible way.  
Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Psychological.... you name it, It's been tested.

  •  waking up at 7am every morning
  • leading games, running around
  • shouting and singing at the top of your lungs
  • not being able to eat enough food at meal times because you're too busy pouring drinks for your campers
  • "rest time" where no one was ever able to rest
  • and going to sleep late at night
were not very conducive to an extremely healthy person...

  • being in a place where no one REALLY knows you
  • yet where you're expected to spend ALL OF YOUR TIME pouring into 10-13 young girls per week
  • feeling the need to build strong interpersonal relationships with your co-counselors
  • trying to remember NOT to lash out at people when you're overly tired or stressed
  • being on the receiving end of someone's stressful day
  • and having little contact with people who know you the best, 

are probably the most taxing factors that anyone can have to handle...

  • not having much time to yourself to pursue your OWN spiritual growth
  • having to lead a short devotion for young girls every morning and night
  • having to answer tough questions about faith
all without really having time to spend with God, in the Bible, and in prayer...

  • never seeing the results of your labor
  • having your faith stretched because you can't see how God is using you at the moment
  • sometimes only hearing the criticisms, and not praises
it really doesn't have to be many things in order to have a major impact, over the course of 7 weeks...

looking back on it in this way, and remembering how much of a struggle some days were, is rather depressing, but is not at all a complete picture of my summer.... 

To be honest, if it wasn't for...
Rake-Lightsaber fights

cutting down trees...{surprisingly stress-relieving}

love notes from friends

giggles from babies

the help of all these wonderful people

letters sent to "mom and dad"

THESE GUYS!!! (including the stud in the middle *heyyy little bruthaaa*)

again.... these guys :)

colorful days!! {and people who just don't care what you look like}

"build a paper doll" letters from good friends

lobster costumes...

nail polish parties...
It's fascinating how much time little girls will spend painting their nails!!!!

babies with shovels!

sweet letters from 8 year olds about lunch

silly putty: the cure-all for injuries or homesick girlies

coffee: the cure-all for EVERYTHING

birthday boxes from best friends
{including a handmade sign}

and beautiful sunsets that stood to remind me that God was watching, paying attention, loving, supporting, and cheering me on!!
My summer would not have been as awesome...

Things like:
-spontaneous surprise snuggle parties on "the counselors' beds"
-late night vulnerability between co-counselors late in the summer
-sassy yet sweet campers
-basketball week
-"the coffee fairy"
-sunshine and lakeside napping
-nailpolish parties
-dry shampoo
-almond skillet cake
-heart to hearts with the younger staff
-thai garden outings
-campers who could relate to eachother's problems when I was unable to
-seeing God use me in small conversations
-having campers return later in the summer, and seeing how they changed
-older campers who were able to rally her fellow campers so we didn't have to
-watching my little girls jumping and dancing in chapel
-and so many more..
... these things are what made my summer memorable... 
These things are what I will remember for years to come

"Happy memories become treasures in the heart to pull out on the tough days of adulthood."
 -Charlotte Davis Kasl