Each week of summer camp, we are offering a chance for one of our Summer Staffers to write a post about their experiences. This week’s guest blogger is Ben Burkeen, a first year staffer who is working as a Resident Counselor.
As a first year Resident Counselor, I was not sure what exactly to expect out of Orientation for the permanent summer staff. I came to learn, however, that past this week was as exhausting as any other week at camp I had ever been to. The rest of the staff and I practiced with, were trained on, and were instructed in nearly every facet of camp. All over a period of seven days.
Before I went through Staff orientation, I was oblivious to exactly how much work went into running the camp. There are so many things that I hadn’t ever thought about before, such as how many t-shirts required folding before the start of the camp. Through seeing all of the little responsibilities that everyone at camp has, I have a newfound respect for everyone who has ever worked on Staff before.
I definitely saw God working this past week. On Monday night, we had worship at the waterfront. In the middle of the worship, it started pouring down rain and eventually we moved indoors. We ended up singing Grace Like Rain and after worship, a handful of staff ran outside to go play in the rain. The joy was evident on their faces as I watched them from (the dry) indoors.
On Wednesday, I tried out the Pamper Pole, a 20 foot tall telephone pole, while we were all getting trained on the high ropes events. Once I climbed to the apex of the pole and peeked over the top of it, I realized how high I was. It was unsettling to say the least, and at some point I would have to stand straight up on the top of it with nothing to grab onto and jump off. Roughly 5 minutes later, scared out of my mind, I gave the command “jumping” as I leaped towards the trapeze waiting over my head. Much to my surprise, I hung on, and was slowly lowered to the ground.
I would never have had the courage to do that without the encouragement of my fellow staff members. Over the past week, we have fostered closer friendships and built bonds that hopefully will remain throughout the rest of this summer and beyond. We are now all resting and gearing up for coming torrent of kids.