It may be a little chilly outside still, but summer is right around the corner! It's time to start thinking about what you'll do with yours. Most likely, you'll get a job, because you are a responsible adult now. Or because you're trying not to sign away the entirety of your future paychecks to Sallie Mae.
Either way, this is the time to start looking for a place to spend your summer. You can either work at McDonalds flipping burgers for three months, or you can do something that makes an impact. You can work somewhere that makes a difference in people's lives, somewhere you literally get paid to have fun. You can work at a summer camp.
If you know me, you know that I LOVE my camp, Somerset Beach Campground (a small Christian camp in southern Michigan). My roommate rolls her eyes at me and complains that I talk about my camp a little obsessively, but it's because I've been a part of some really amazing things there. God works in powerful ways through camping ministry, and you are invited to be a part of it. Here's why you should work at a summer camp:
1. You get to spend your whole summer outside.The first thing your family and friends say when they see you: “You’re so tan!” Also, flip-flop and watch tan lines are unavoidable. But zip lining, swimming, boating, and bonfires will be a part of your everyday routine. In my opinion, it’s a much preferred alternative to being stuck in a windowless room frying cheeseburgers.
2. You literally get paid to have fun.Camp is the most fun job you will ever have. The days are full of activities and playing games and, as I said before, you’ll be OUTSIDE! It’s all the fun of your childhood days as a camper, but you get paid for it. Are you convinced yet?
3. Spiritual growth.You will encounter God in a deeper way than you ever have before. I’m not going to lie, camp is exhausting sometimes, but it’s all worth it. God moves in such a unique way in the camp setting. You will be stretched and challenged, and in the process, he will grow you through your experience.
4. The staff becomes a family.You will work with a group of incredible people at camp. The beauty of it is this: your personalities will be all different, but you will be great friends by the end of the summer. You will be connected by the bond of sweaty days in the sun and the kind of side-splitting laughter that puts you in tears. I wouldn’t trade the relationships I built with my fellow staff members for anything. And another thing, because of the nature of the job, I guarantee that you won't hate your boss! The people who run Christian summer camps are amazing, and they are the ones who really help to foster that family environment among the staff.
5. You’ll make an impact.You will have the privilege of being a role model in a child’s life. Your campers will look up to you and learn from you, even in the short week you’ll spend with them. They’ll come away from camp full of stories of the fun they had with their new friends and their awesome counselor.
6. They’ll make an even bigger impact on you.You will get to sit with kids and talk with them, hear their stories. You’ll get to see their childlike faith in action. You will be impacted by the simple way that kids love people and the way they have fun with everything. While it’s your job to be their role model, you’ll find that they have a much more profound impact on your heart.
It all boils down to what you want your summer to look like. A job at a camp is something meaningful, something that will give purpose to your summer. It is full of laughter and good old fashioned fun-in-the-sun. You'll make friendships that will last well into the school year, and you'll see God show up in some really cool ways. I promise you won't regret the laughter, the memories, or the tan lines.