Summertime is in full swing, and camp’s gates are open for the 49th year of operation at Summer’s Best Two Weeks! Once again this summer, we are blessed to have a wonderful counseling staff. These college-aged young men and women love God and have a strong desire to live for Him. They also enjoy working with kids in a competitive athletic environment and creating a fun and spiritually-meaningful atmosphere for them. God is truly at work in the lives of thousands of kids who come here each year, and the main instrument He uses in that work is the camp counselor. I must say it is impressive to see our camp counselors in action: they give of themselves in big and small ways throughout each day, leaning on God to give them strength. They are an inspiration to be around as they take on a responsibility that is 24/7. Needless to say, it is a humbling experience to observe the impact that counselors have on campers’ lives. My grown children bear witness to this fact, and indeed many of our counseling staff are former campers whose lives were influenced by their counselors when they were younger.
To give you a “behind the scenes” look at the heart of a counselor, I wanted to share with you a “2014 Goals for Summer and Camp” sheet that I happened to see at the beginning of the summer. I asked this counselor if I could share his list of goals on the blog. This particular young man is a collegiate runner who participates in cross country, indoor, and outdoor track. His goals were written only for himself, but I think in many ways they mirror the heart of our staff as a whole. I believe this list could have just as easily been written twenty or even forty years ago; while the faces and names of our camp counselors continually change over the years, the heart of a Summer’s Best counselor has always been one of devotion to God, love for young people, and a desire that “the glory goes to God” in all areas, including athletics.
I thank God for the team of young adults that He has gathered together once again this summer to influence the precious and impressionable lives of campers. Here is a glimpse into the heart of one such counselor:
2014 Goals for Summer & Camp
• Read Scripture and pray daily alone.
• Get your training run in every day (6 days) + pushups & pullups 3X/ week.
• Stay at or under 170 lbs. (one plate/meal).
• No sarcasm. Ask “would this person laugh along, feel honored…?” build people up with humor.
• Listen with sealed lips. Don’t interrupt or finish sentences…also, speak with intent—no fillers: “like”, “uhhhh”, “you know.”
• Be a SERVANT at camp: come alongside, be led, inspire others to lead; help others’ lights shine; Pray with & encourage people face-to-face.
• Be tenacious, but willing to let go—hold blessings and projects with open hands—hold onto nothing! Why? Because it’s all for Him, not for you.
• Practice gratitude in all things.
• Preach the Gospel to yourself every day. And to others, too.
• Put the kids first. Every moment with a child is a divinely appointed opportunity to make an impression in them for Christ.
“All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee.”
I Chronicles 29:14
“He must become greater. I must become less.”