I was looking for a good article to post about working at camp. I couldn’t find one. So I guess I’ll write it myself. ..
Camp seems to have been part of my life since I was 8 years old and could go as a camper. Now, 25+ years later, camp is still part of my life and really it will always have a part of my heart. As I think about hiring staff for the summer; I have begun to think about all the good things that happen when we give our time to camp. Not just Dauphin Bible Camp, but any Bible Camp. Listen up people, if you’ve never worked at camp before, its really not too late, and you’re really (probably) not too old!! Here are some great reasons to work at camp that I have come up with. Now some will probably be directed more to the younger age group (16-20ish), but I truly want this to be read by all ages, don’t rule yourself out because you have a career or family or otherwise!
- You can get a good tan! Now maybe some of us have not been blessed with flying down to Mexico this winter, even if we have, that 2 week tan has worn off. Not too many jobs allow you to get out and work on browning yourself for like 6-8 weeks! Or burning yourself depending on your skin tone. So say goodbye to tanning beds and spray tans. Come to camp.
- Casual Fridays; Every day! If you have ever worked anywhere other than maybe your family farm, you have a dress code. And while camp does require you to dress modestly, we won’t judge your sweatpants and stained shirt from Monday-Friday noon. But we ask that you wear your camp shirt on Sunday and maybe look presentable when Parents pick up their kids on Friday 😉
- Learn to work! Now maybe if you’re young, this isn’t a high priority for you. But I can tell you as a parent, I love to see my kids accomplish their work and be helpful. Work isn’t always fun, but it can be so rewarding and at Camp there is tons of work to be done. Always. From cleaning bathrooms, mucking stalls, setting up wide games, to dealing with camper disputes, there isn’t a lot of downtime. Learning to work hard isn’t something people always learn at home, so coming to camp and learning to be responsible for your duties is not only helpful as a life skill, it’s rewarding! Also, actually pretty fun when you’re among friends!
- Be a kid again! Maybe this one is more for the older peeps, like me 😉 Being an adult isn’t all that fun all the time. Let yourself go back in time to when life wasn’t so serious; sounds good doesn’t it? I think letting go of some of the serious side of life is good for anyone’s health. I don’t know about you, but maybe jumping into a pool full of crazy 10-year-olds or building a sleeping bag fort with some 6-year-olds could be the perfect way to leave some stress behind. (Or at least having a break from the stress for a few days)
- Worship! Isn’t there something amazing about hearing kids sing their little hearts out? Where else do you get to sing songs twice a day, singing to a Savior and Creator and hearing the sweet sound of voices who are searching for Truth. Praise and Worship is a unique and wonderful experience at camp. I would encourage you the next time you find yourself in a worship time at a Bible Camp; just stand and listen and your heart will be blessed.
- Close Friends! Camp is a place that strong friendships just seem to happen. When you spend day in and out doing ministry with people a special bond is created. Of course, friendships happen in other environments too, but there is something about seeing each other struggling and growing that brings you closer.
- Discovering you! Since Camp has so many opportunities to work on so many skills, it really gives you a chance to figure out what you love and what you don’t. It can challenge you to try new things you’ve never done and give you space to keep going on what you’re great at. It might just help you know where God is leading you next.
- Food! Who doesn’t like eating for free, am I right? Fresh Cinnamon buns for staff meeting. Homemade soup for lunch and enough grilled cheese to feed 400 people (even though there are only 100 of us 😉 Although usually by week 4 we are ready for a bit more variety, Camp food is always a bonus!
- Be a part of changing lives! When you work at camp, whether it’s at the stables, on the work crew or in the cabin, you are a part of how kids learn and grow. Maybe it’s helping a kid get over his fear of getting on that horse. Maybe it’s helping a kid read a verse out loud for the first time in front of his cabin. Maybe it’s answering questions a child has about Jesus or giving a hug to a kid who needs it. Some of these things maybe small or insignificant but can be huge to a kid! Who knows, maybe when they look back on their lives, it could be the kindness or words you shared with them at camp that made all the difference!
- Personal Growth! Nothing makes you grow more intensely than when you’re in the thick of something. Lack of sleep, stretched patience, kid’s misbehavior; these are all things that will probably happen while you’re at camp. It has been my experience that when I am the weakest, Christ seems to show up with his strength! (2 Corinthians 12:10) Camp work makes you rely on God because it’s just too hard to do it alone. When I think back to my cabin leader days when I was 16, 17, 18 years old there are such strong memories of seeing God work in my life. Energy when I should have been tired. Answers to things that were too impossible for me to know on my own. God grew my faith in those years like nothing had before. I think often when we come into something like helping at camp, we think we are the ones going to be a blessing, but when its all said and done, we see how we were the ones who actually learned something new and were blessed.
The list could go on friends. But really, there are so many ways you can get involved in helping at Camp. This isn’t an easy task at all, it’s a challenge! I believe our world is becoming harder and harder to live as a Christian. Camp really sets it all up for people to have the freedom to share who God is and what He has done. Please pray about how you can help at Dauphin Bible Camp or any Bible Camp this summer. Maybe you can help by cooking or being a speaker. Perhaps you can help by giving a young staff member financial support so they can work at camp (I’ll be honest they don’t get paid as much as they deserve!!) Maybe you can challenge yourself to spend a week in a cabin with some bouncy 9-year-old boys! I challenge you to pray and see if God would have you give in some way this summer.