As a camper in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, there are still many things I remember. I came to camp for several summers as a camper before starting as a summer staffer in 2003. I remember the neat things we made in woodworking, the horses I rode for the rodeo, the games we played in windsurfing and kayaking classes, earning different levels in waterskiing over the years, and even the names of the different camp dogs! I remember the fun songs we sang at campfire and even some of the campfire messages and cabin devotions that were taught.
But more than anything… more than the fun, more than the teachings, and more than the activities… I remember my counselors. As a kid, you are always trying to figure out who you are and who you want to be… what will define you and what things are important to you. Camp helped me discover those things for myself in the best way possible.
I grew up with wonderful parents who loved me and set godly examples for me. But having a young adult, just a little bit older than me, setting the same godly example, made a huge impact on my life.
Whether my counselors knew it or not, I looked up to them. I wanted to be exactly like them… from the type of shoes that I wore to how I wrapped a bandanna around my hair. Those leather flip flops or chaco sandals would be what I would ask my parents for for Christmas.
But more than wanting to be like them in the way they looked, I also learned what it was to desire a relationship with God. I had seen my parents relationships with the Lord, but seeing someone young having the same desire to know Him, was inspiring. I would sit up in my bunk early in the morning, before anyone else woke up, and see my counselors with a flashlight in their bunk having a quiet time. I heard the passion in their voice as they shared the truth of the Gospel with us during cabin devotions at night. And I noticed the way that they weren’t afraid to bring up the Lord in everyday conversations with others.
So, going home, not only would I wear the same shoes as them, but I would wake up and spend time in the Word. I would make a conscious effort to be bold to talk about Christ with other kids at school. And I had a desire to learn and grow. I grew up knowing the truth, going to church, and being taught the Word of God, but my counselors at camp helped show me what it meant to take my walk with the Lord seriously and start growing towards greater maturity in Christ.
I’m so thankful to have had Frontier Camp in my life, especially at those critical times of growth. And I am thankful to the counselors who set a great example for me to look up to. I know many of you reading this had similar experiences at camp. Please share your stories! I would love to hear more about the impact camp has made in your life or the life of your kids, just as it has in mine. And more than anything keep praying for the young leaders and future counselors who will make the same impact on the next generation. To God be the glory!