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 Megan Montgomery, a second year staffer who is working as a Resident Counselor.
My name is Megan Montgomery, and this is my second summer to work on Lakeshore summer staff. I’m proud to call myself a Resident Counselor at this place where God is so incredibly apparent in all the work done here. My position last summer was on Activity Staff as the lifeguard, much to my surprise. I always expected to be a counselor, but God had different plans for me. Staff last year was an experience that showed me more about this place I call home and also strength in myself I had never noticed before. Even having this various experience on staff and at camp, there is a first time for everything.
Here at Lakeshore, we have a series of camps we call Oxley, or the Hope Series. Each of these camps is designed to empower youth by helping them encounter the overpowering love God has for them. These camps include camp Hope, which focuses on campers with exposure to drugs or alcohol, camp Grace, focusing on girls that have experienced sexual abuse, and camp Peace, for youth dealing with anger. These camps alternate each week from girls and boys camps. This past week Lakeshore hosted the fourth annual female Senior High Teen Hope camp. I have never counseled an Oxley camp before, and I struggled before the week about how I felt like I had nothing to offer these girls. In my mind, this camp required something more from me. I had never experienced many of the hardships that these girls have dealt with.
As a counselor, I never really feel uncomfortable talking to campers. This week, I found it more challenging. It was not because my girls were any different than any other week but because of the expectations I had set for them. Throughout the week I got to spend time with some of the funniest, most genuine, and loving girls I’ve ever met. Many of them have strength and a drive in themselves that I can’t help but to look up to. The girls had the chance to share about their life and experiences, and every single one of them moved me. It stirred in my heart a desire to help them—to love them. God showed me that he has called me simply to love. I say simply not because it is an easy thing to do, but because love doesn’t require anything more than just that. Love doesn’t require me to figure out exactly what I should do or say. I shouldn’t have to know exactly what or why God is calling me to do it. I just have to have faith that whatever God calls me to do will affect someone and will make me better. I could fill up an entire book about how great the girls are that I got to spend my week with or about how I laugh every time I hear the word “racecar” or “baseball”. I could try my best to explain to you what exactly the word “ratchet” means, but those would only be minor details of this incredible week God blessed me with. I also know that with time he will reveal more things about these experiences that I haven’t stumbled across yet, but as the summer quickly comes to a close I know I can look back on this week, laugh, and remember how these girls taught me what it is like to love.