One question I ask myself, usually when a group of rebellious teenagers have not listened to something I ask, is, “Am I just babysitting these kids?” It’s a real struggle I find myself having at times. After all, here at Camp of the Hills, and at every other camp I’ve worked at I’ve asked myself this question. I know some parents when they drop off their kids say see ya and there is a week vacation for them. I also know that for a lot of kids who come out to this camp this will be the first time they ever hear the name Jesus. So, I and many other counselors treat camp with a type of reverence about what we are doing. I’m also a type of guy who seeks to find meaning in nearly everything I do, which gets me thinking a lot, too much to say the least. I believe and I know a lot of others do that we are participating in a ministry.
But, what is it that I’m actually doing. I play in the pool, dress up with jerseys and costumes, and tell stories, and exchange my favorite Adam Sandler quotes. Then I realized that I do all those things, or used to that is, with my brothers. I’m being a brother to these kids when they come here to camp. Yes, brothers and sisters share a lot with each other, and a lot of those times are filled with shenanigans. But, there is also something special about the love between siblings. That you are comfortable around them, free to express love, free to joke, and free to look up to and respect. As a camp counselor there are times when I feel as if there is no meaning to something that I may be doing at a certain time. For example, when shaving cream is all over my face and Cheerios are being tossed on, I wonder, “Are these kids learning about Christ?” I try too hard to find meaning in all I do. Then I realize, I’m being a friend, mentor, brother in Christ to many kids who need that so much. What is more important? That I do everything in love, or that I force the name Jesus Christ into every conversation? What is more important in life? That I show you your sins or show you love? We like to keep score in our lives. How many people have you witnessed to? How many times did you read the Bible to your campers? How about, how much unconditional love did you show
So, when you are with kids and want to so ever bad for them to learn the name Jesus, please just love first. Show grace when all they have ever seen is condemnation for petty actions. Show love when all a kid might have seen is hate. Show gentleness when all a kid might have seen is anger and resentment. Last, please show Jesus through your actions, because that is what we are called to do.
I am a camp counselor, I’m a child of God, a brother to all, and a kid trying to learn every step of the way. I’m a camper learning every step of the way myself with the ultimate counselor in Jesus Christ.