Working At A Young Life Camp Will Change Your Life

Working At A Young Life Camp Will Change Your Life

How is it possible that an unpaid month full of hard work could be "fun"?

Young Life summer camp, aka the best week of your entire life.

There's no denying that.

But working at a camp for an entire month, doing extremely hard work and not getting paid? No thank you. That was my thought process when someone told me about applying for Summer Staff. There was no way that an entire month away from home (my family and friends), doing endless hours of "dirty work" behind the scenes at a camp could be "the best month of your life" like people advertised.

However, I couldn't have been more wrong.

It's been months since I got back from my month-long adventure serving at Carolina Point as a baker on Summer Staff, yet not a day goes by that I don't think about my experience and the profound impact it made on my life. I never would have dreamed that that month would change my personality and the direction of my life entirely.

It's like a different world at Young Life camp, no matter which one you go to. A world where people are kind to each other and celebrate each other's differences rather than pointing out each other's flaws. A place where we can openly talk about Jesus and not be judged for it, but be encouraged. A place where we can talk about the messy parts of our lives and find out we aren't the only ones facing those obstacles. A place where you will laugh and cry harder than you ever have before. A place where you will be loved unconditionally, by people you never would have thought you could connect with.

Yes, the work was hard. I got up at 5 a.m., running off of as little as four hours of sleep, stood on my feet baking bread and desserts for as many as 800 campers for ten hours a day but I wouldn't have traded the experience for the world. I met the BEST people in the world, people who will forever be in my life and will probably stand next to me on my wedding day.

I grew in my faith in ways I didn't even think imaginable. I realized that serving others can be such a joy, even if it is "behind the scenes" and you get no recognition for it. I found out how truly unconditionally loved I am by a God who never leaves my side. I learned so much about myself and what it means to walk with Jesus each and every day. I also made the decision to completely turn my life around, leaving behind what I thought was my dream school, and pursuing an entirely different school and path, because I felt God speak to me in a way that I never had before.

I could go on and on about the ways my life changed and the incredible things I experienced while on Summer Staff because the impact was that significant.

Even if the thought of leaving behind your friends and family for a month of the summer and serving endless hours of hard work makes you cringe, I would challenge you to apply because if I had listened to my thoughts of hesitation, I would have missed out on a truly life-changing experience that redirected the path of my life.

Cover Image Credit: Anna Parker

Popular Right Now

14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!


What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49 (one pack), $14.99 (two pack)

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

How To Break Up With A Friend Who Breaks You

The art of handling the weight of a bad friend.


In college, you expect everyone to act like adults. But who are we kidding? At eighteen years old in our freshman year, we still call our moms for every little thing. One of the most talked about things between children and their parents is for advice and how to deal with certain obstacles. One of the most important of the obstacles is navigating friendships.

College is the time in everyone's lives where we truly evolve into the person we will be for the rest of our lives. Joining clubs, taking certain classes, and hanging out with certain groups molds us more than some may think. Being friends with someone who is toxic for you, even in the slightest, can and will be detrimental to your mental health and your self-acceptance as a young adult.

Singling out what is making you turn sour is a simple process. Look at what has changed around you and what is new. The most common thing happens to be new faces belonging to new friends. As their personalities rub off on you, you can see yourself change into someone you may not like. A rude comment every now and then becomes more and more frequent until you are sitting there wondering how they will make you feel like crap that day. Well starting off a true "friend" would never, ever, make you feel like dirt. Friends are a part of your life to help you grow and become the best versions of yourself. They aren't there to watch you suffer and kick you while you're down.

Talking to a friend can be hard and not a comfortable situation. Face to face confrontation is a task most people avoid. Yet talking to a friend who treats you in a lesser way in person is necessary if you are continuously thinking about what the said toxic friend said to you last week. Bringing up a topic of what had hurt your feelings can go two ways. The first of the ways is that they listen to your concerns and they ask questions and apologize. The second way is full of eye rolls, excuses for their actions, and are full of empty promises.

After a while, as the empty promises began to fade and their façade beings to crumble it is time to finally just cut them out. Stop responding to texts, stop asking them to hang, and stop the snap streak no matter how many days it took you two to build. A true friend will reach out to you in a personal way, a fake friend will confront you with harsh tones and out of context replies.

Life is way too short to spend your days as a punching bag for someone else's insecurities. There are people out there on your campus and around your hometown that are in the headspace to uplift their friends and watch them flourish in life. So, take your time to discover who you are, and find what qualities you want in a friend. And never settle for someone who doesn't see your worth.

Related Content

Facebook Comments