I'm not sure how many years of camp I will get through tonight, but last night I left you hanging at the end of my 1st summer of camp in 2003. So here goes...
2004- When I returned home from camp to begin grad school, I admit that I had a bit of a rough time. I moved back home and began one of the most challenging semesters of my life. I was overwhelmed by loneliness and I missed the community I had found at camp. One night, one of my teammates finally explained to me what my problem was...I had the "camp funk" as he put it. Basically the time in which you are in detox from missing the experiences and the people you have lived life with for the last three months. Fortunately, I did make good friends that summer, who spent many nights during the fall on the phone with me "talking me off the ledge" persay in regards to grad school. I suddenly couldn't wait until I would leave again for another summer of camp. I waited not so patiently to find out what team I would be on and who my new teammates would be (and who I would get to spend another summer with).
In May of that year I left again for my second summer of camp on the Crosspoint Green team. It is honestly still one of my favorite summers of camp and one of my favorite teams of people. It is also true that your second summer is the best. You have been around just long enough for people to look up to you as a leader, but you are still "cool enough" to be "one of them." It was a few weeks into this summer that my director pulled me aside and told me that he "needed me to step it up." I admit I was a little taken aback and maybe even slightly offended. Me, ever the overachiever and people pleaser needed to "step it up?" But he was right. He pushed me to push myself and my leadership abilities. He taught me about what it meant to replicate leadership. He helped me to begin to put leadership theories I had learned in college into practice. He also became a great friend. (Here's a bit of hint, he later became more than that!) It really was a wonderful summer of fun new locations and great memories with great people. Again, I had convinced myself that of course THIS summer would be the last. After all, I would be graduating from Grad School and I would definitely have to find a "real job" after that, right? Of course again God had different plans than I did. He used some convincing from a certain director that I could give one more summer and that I should take a step to increase my leadership and apply to be an Assistant Director. So, I did.
2005- I was hired as an Assistant Director for the summer of 2005. I was also paired with my director from the previous year. We spent a lot of time that year talking about camp and how we planned to lead our team. I admit that I found myself worried more than a few times that year that maybe, even as excited as I was, that I may have made the wrong decision to come back for another summer of camp. I had no idea what I was going to do after graduation and that was more than a little stressful. Of course God had a plan for that too. Before I even left for the summer I heard that a position as an intern was opening at LifeWay in the fall with their children's camps. I applied, and a week before I graduated, was offered and accepted the job. Once again, God had shown himself as provider in my life.
As I left that summer I was excited about the new challenges. It was difficult being in leadership for the first time. I didn't understand why suddenly the girls on my team weren't rushing to tell me everything that was going on. I was now "in charge" and that sometimes meant feeling isolated in my leadership. But I worked through those growing pains and the experience continued to stretch me and challenge me. I was able to begin to understand what it meant to pour into and invest in the people who had been placed in my care on my team that summer. I would make another great friend who would later become my roommate and would also be one of my bridesmaids.
I also discovered that I may have more than feelings of friendship for that director who had been in my life. We were both facing times of transition in our lives after camp, but we both admitted that there were feelings present. So, that was a possibility that was awaiting me after camp. This was also the first summer I was leaving that I knew I would be back again the next summer, which was part of my fulfilling my new job at LifeWay. This was a new feeling of security that I had not previously experienced. I was also looking forward to the experiences I would have in my new job, as I would be able to see "the other side" of camp and all the preparation that would go into it. I was excited about moving to Nashville and I felt blessed that this "camp thing" that I loved so much was developing into something that looked a little more like a "real job." But to hear more about that, you'll once again, have to wait until tomorrow. Enough writing for tonight.