I grew up going to this really cool camp called Camp Lutherhaven. It's one of my favorite places on Earth -- I have so many good memories there as a camper, as a confirmation retreat participant, as a Support Staff member and now as a Counselor. As a kid it became such an important place for me. A place where I got to make new friends, be myself, get closer to God, be in nature, sing every day, and be in such a positive environment that I couldn't help but be drawn back year after year. Returning as a counselor, not one of those things has gone away. So here are twelve things that I'll miss about Lutherhaven, as I head back to school. (Not in any particular order)
1. First Word
I'll miss starting each day by hearing one of my fellow counselors give a short message on a few verses of the Bible. Though this time lasted no more than five minutes, these few words would always put the rest of us in the right mood to serve these kids with love, patience, and compassion.
2. The woods
As much as I really am not a fan of bugs, I do love being in nature, especially in the woods. Everything is so green and alive and full of energy!
Having two worships a day, almost every day may sound intense, but it was one of the best things about camp. We get to sing and be crazy, and also sing and worship -- it's the best balance.
4. The kids
Working with kids has always been a passion of mine, and it was so much fun to do it in a camp setting. It's pretty different, and for the littler ones you're basically a mom to seven or eight kids around the clock for a week, but you also get the older kids who you can have deep conversations with, answer their questions, or struggle through hard topics together.
5. The sunsets
Obviously sunsets are beautiful almost everywhere in the world, but there are some places where it's just right, just absolutely perfect. Lutherhaven is one of those places. It's truly a spectacular sight, those camp sunsets!
6. The pace of things
Working at a summer camp means that your time is not your own. It's a crazy schedule, crazy busy and crazy fun. I learned how to manage my time better, and know when to take a step back.
7. My friends
Friendship has always been an important thing to me, and at camp that's no different. I made so many friends there over the years but especially these past two years of working there. S/O to all my camp peeps! I feel lucky to have known all of you, and hope that we stay in touch and our paths cross again someday.
8. Community Outreach
I got the good fortune of going on several day camps over the course of the summer, and each one was unique and awesome in its own way. I got to experience three different communities and churches up close, and help lead them in VBS with fellow counselors. It was awesome to increase my perspective by visiting these places and encountering the many different people living there.
9. The lake
Getting to swim in a lake with a bunch of kids is a really cool thing. They get so excited about swimming every day that I couldn't help but get excited with them. The lake was beautiful, cold, and fun every single day that I went down to it.
10. The conversations
I had many conversations with campers and counselors alike, and many of those conversations I will remember for a very long time. Some of them good, and some of them were among the hardest conversations I've had in a long time. All of them I will treasure forever.
11. The wildlife
It was so much fun to get to see deer every day at work. So many squirrels and deer in the area meant that I got pretty used to it by the end of the summer, but each week when my campers would see a deer for the first time, that... that was priceless.
12. Playing guitar all the time
I got to learn how to play guitar for real this summer, and then I got to play so much and I ended up loving it a lot more than I thought I would. It's a cool thing to be able to provide music for a group of kids, to be able to provide worship in that way, and there are some worships that I played guitar for that were so incredibly special to me, I am very thankful I got the opportunity to do that.