Each year approximately 250 young adults commit to spend their summers as a part of our full-time ministry team. The experience of working in community literally seven days a week to accomplish a common mission is life-changing for those who make this commitment.
Parents from each camp write about the tremendous impact counselors have on their kids. “Both of my kids talk about the amazing, unconditional love they feel while at camp from their counselors,” a mother wrote. “I heard my daughter telling a friend, ‘just imagine a place where you felt 100 percent loved and accepted…that’s Pondy.’”
A Redwood mom writes, “My son’s counselor was loads of fun and very uplifting and kind. He encouraged them to seek God in their daily lives.” She described how the counselor carried her son in his arms to the nurse’s office late one night and the impact that gesture had on him (and her).
Our theme for summer staff this year was “All In,” which called our staff to pour out everything, holding nothing back, serving as the conduit of God’s love for our campers. The word “ALL” was an acronym for the words Abide, Love and Lead. We sought the Scriptures together, meditating on what it means to Abide in Christ, so that we can Love each other in community, enabling us to Lead campers one step closer to Jesus.
If you are a staff alum, you know the profound impact a summer of camp ministry can have on your life, too.
Cierra Bardowell, a counselor and worship leader in the family camp youth program says, “It’s so evident to see that every staff member has their own interactions with God that they can take away and use as a light to the world and a light to the people they come into contact with later on.”
Clayton Eddleman, a.k.a. Lunchbox, worked as a Day Camp counselor and returns to school intending to prepare for a career in youth ministry. He sums up well what many know to be true: “Iron sharpens iron, and when we’re here with other staff members, we’re constantly being challenged and challenging others to be a better version of ourselves for Christ. This has been one of the best experiences!”