June 16, 2010

The One with Camp Counseling Memories

Watching all of the youth programming staff do their training and bonding this week,
my mind got all reminiscent on me. 
I was instantly transported back in time. 
Five years. 
My first summer after my first year of college. 
I never in a million years would have imagined spending even more time away from home. 
At the beginning of the school year, 
I knew i just had to make it 9 months and then I'd be home. 
But then I got comfortable. 
And I started dating this boy. 
And he told me about this camp where he'd worked before. 
He thought I'd be a great counselor. 
I was totally freaked out by the prospect.
But before I knew it, 
I was applying, 
and interviewing. 
And for 10 weeks I worked with unforgettable staff. 
Friends I still keep in touch with. 
People I wish lived next door. 
And we made a great team as we spend 5 days and 4 nights each week with kids.
K-12th graders (depending on the camp.)
Those kids were our life. 
It was the most challenging, 
most incredible, 
most memorable experience. 
I wouldn't trade it for anything.
::our amazing counseling staff::
11 people in this photo are now married.
We've grown up a bit. :)

::three of us girls hanging with staff kids--Brian and Caleb::
They are now 16 and 17.
And one of them is my brother in law. (Brian on the left)

::camp is crazy::
this is what happens when you let seven 13 year old girls have 
free range of your hair with a full can of hairspray.

::Sara and myself::
I heart her. And I love getting to hang out with her again this summer.
And check out my short hair.
NEVER doing that again.

water. flour. shaving cream. birdseed.

::group building training::

::with some of my girls on an evening hayride::
Thanks, Somerset, for teaching me so much
about who I am,
what I am capable of,
how to learn from others, 
how to train and love and lead kids and teens. 
Without this experience I wouldn't have had near the confidence to step into a youth pastor role. 
It's incredible how one summer can affect so many lives.


  1. yeah for CAMPS!!!! I LOVE your pictures! Can't wait for our camps to start this summer. I'll have a mini "camp" tomorrow for girls ministries retreat. can't wait!

  2. My oldest daughter is married to a youth pastor, and along with their daughter and a group of the church youth they are doing a mission trip to Canada to work at a camp for a couple of weeks in July! They are really looking forward to it.

    It is amazing what God can do through us..even when we have not made plans to end up doing what He leads us to do.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

  3. Oh, Melanie, what wonderful memories and special photos you have of that time! And look at all the bonds you have from those folks even now! COOL! Thank you for sharing this neat time from your life with us!! :D

  4. I'm a camp girl!! I went every year and I LOVED IT!! These pictures made me remember my camp days.

    I like the short hair:)

  5. Are you rapping in that picture, where you're dressed up silly? LOVE it!

  6. Sigh...love this. Memories :)


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