For the past two summers (2017, 2018) I have worked as a camp counselor for Eagle Lake Camps, first as a Day Camp On-Location counselor, then as a (REZ)ident counselor. When I step back and reflect on both of these sweet summers, I am always in awe of God’s goodness and faithfulness. I remember when I first drove up the very long and winding Rampart Range Road that led to camp for staff orientation. I knew no one and had no idea what to expect. When my parents dropped me off, I remember thinking I was in way over my head and did not know what I was doing. Thankfully, God knew exactly what He was doing.
There is something so unique and valuable about having the opportunity to strip everything away and simply focus on the Lord and how you can show Him to others. That is exactly what a summer with Eagle Lake looks like. It is literally your job to dive into the Word with your staff and share the gospel with kids (all while getting a pretty rad Chaco tan, might I add.) Perhaps one of the biggest things that I have taken away from camp is how to pour into others through life-on-life discipleship. My time at camp has redefined how I can serve and disciple others. I learned that showing others the love of Christ does not always have to mean grand gestures; it can be as simple as taking an interest in their interests or just taking the time to really listen to them and pray with them. Meeting people where they are at does not always mean jumping over mountains—it’s about being intentional in the little things. I’ve gotten to do this not only with many campers of different ages, but with fellow staff and leadership who I got to pray with and encourage on a daily basis. I still stay in contact with many friends that I met through camp even to this day, because friendships that are rooted in Christ are life-long, no matter how many states you are away from each other.
Another lesson that God has taught me through camp is what it means to truly abide in Him for all things. At camp there were many times where I was tired and overwhelmed, and the Lord showed me how to rely on Him for strength and guidance. Even on days when I was worn out, the Lord carried me through and used me for His glory. I also learned that part of abiding in Him meant living intentionally with the community that I was doing life with and allowing them to help me abide in the Lord. My pride often gets in the way of asking for help or being vulnerable, and because of this I tend to want carry things on my own. At camp I truly learned the importance of having a spiritual community. I learned not only the importance of pouring into others, but allowing others to pour into me as well. Discipleship is the heart of Eagle Lake and something they teach and demonstrate so well.
Needless to say, my time at camp has impacted my life for the better. The things you learn and live out at camp don’t just stay at camp—they follow you for the rest of your life. I’ve been able to carry the things that I have learned at camp into how I serve at my home church, community, and school. Following God usually means leaping out of your comfort zone, but every time it is oh so worth it!