A position at camp is an excellent choice for your future
by John Ashmen
Aisle six in my local supermarket is where they line up the breakfast cereals—three long shelves of sugar and smiles. Even the most discerning child is easily perplexed by the enticing possibilities.
From fruit flakes to playmates to first dates, decisions
only get harder. In the foreword of Garry Friesen’s Decision Making
and the Will of God (Multnomah, 1999), Haddon Robinson writes, “We
want to make right decisions, for we realize that the decisions we make
turn around and make us. As we choose one end of the road, we choose the
I believe that other, seemingly less important decisions are more pivotal because of their ability to influence major determinations. One of them is, “What will I do with my summer?” Options can range from exotic to exhausting. But summer should be a time to find out if the road you’ve chosen is leading in the right direction, and even a time to amass memories for your journey. Serving on staff at a Christian camp or conference center is an excellent way to do that.
Beyond Your Walls
Working at camp will also place you in a peaceful setting. Even though your regular focus may be an ankle-deep livestock stable, a tray of sticky dishes, or a cabin full of kids, the overtures of creation are always playing in the background. Wildflowers along the trail, wind in the trees, loons landing on the lake, and warm, starry nights declare God’s presence and soothe the spirit.
A Growth Spurt
You could have the chance to sail, raft, climb, and do a hundred other challenging outdoor sports. With the right credentials, you might be able to instruct campers in these activities.
In addition to physically stretching experiences, a Christian camp experience can prompt spiritual growth. You will be away from daily distractions and you’ll have ongoing exposure to the Bible through personal study times, staff devotions, and guest speakers. There will always be an opportunity to try out biblical truth.
Sharpen Your Vision
If you’re in the second group, a summer staff stint will allow you to observe various vocations. Once I hired a registered nurse who, five years earlier as a camp kitchen assistant, had been attracted to the vocation by the skill of the camp nurse.
As you stand ready to choose your road, consider working a summer at camp. Regardless of the position you hold, you’ll leave with new maturity and more education, and be challenged as never before. And you’ll never forget the lessons you learned because you’ll always remember the experience that birthed them.
John served as executive director for several years at Haluwasa Christian Camp and Outdoor Center in New Jersey. Currently a CCCA vice president, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and a master’s degree in organizational management.
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