Summer Staff Guest Blogger, Week 7

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 Katie Taylor, a first year staffer who is working as Program Utilities Facilitator.

My name is Katie Taylor, and I am the Program Utilities Facilitator – more

commonly known as the PUF – this year on summer staff. In this position, I bring and/or

cook food for the smaller Wilderness and Oxley camps on a daily basis, and for the main

camps, I manage the canteen. Additionally, I am responsible for Walmart runs

throughout the week and for shuttling water to the ropes courses.

Before working on staff this summer, I had been a camper at Lakeshore from

2002 to 2008, starting first at the primary camp, graduating to Wilderness, and ending

with summers at Jr. and Sr. High main camps. In the midst of preparing for college and

the business that entails, I didn’t come back to camp until last year, where I was a

volunteer counselor for Sr. High Hope (Oxley) and for a Junior High camp. During those

two weeks, I fell in love with camp all over again. With that being said, I could not be

more ecstatic that I have gotten to spend two months here already.

As I have gotten older, I often find that one major theme has stuck with me: the

need and want to love other people. I remember discussing with other counselors our

various love languages – the way we express love and like to receive it –, and though I

am learning, I think that mine are quality time and acts of service. Here at camp, those

love languages are convenient to express, and I enjoy that kind of environment. I can tell

the kids do, too! While many of the kids with whom I work have that kind of expressed

love at home, there are so many who do not. I remember one particular week talking to a

camper who said that they enjoy camp because they do feel loved here and have never

experienced that love before. Those kinds of responses remind me of why I am here and

renew my purpose for the summer.

The amazing thing about love is that I can purposely express it, but I also have the

ability to witness it. Every week, I help with progressive games, and I find so much joy

in hearing squeals of laughter and seeing smiles written on children’s faces, especially

those of the primary campers that we had last week. That kind of energy and enthusiasm

for life reminds me of God’s presence. In driving up to wilderness camp every morning,

sometimes I just pause and sit in streams of light that find their way past the forest brush

and look at the vibrant green leaves, and I am reminded of how intricate God’s design of

the earth is. And often during worship, in the midst of hearing a couple hundred campers

singing praise, I am reminded of the Father’s extravagant love for His children. So many

little, unplanned things at Lakeshore have made the biggest impact on my summer.

Now, with only three weeks left of camp, I hope that we as a camp can continue

to grow the community we have here. Each kid who comes here has the opportunity to be

enveloped in love, God’s love, and I hope that that love is apparent and life-giving so that

once they leave here, they are motivated to share that love and community with others.

And, as always, please continue to pray for our campers and staff as we progress

through the summer, that we may have the energy to keep doing what we’re doing.

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