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"?
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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

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18 Things That Happen When You Get A Good Roommate

Not every roommate story is a bad one.
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Whenever you hear about roommate stories, they're almost never good, and they usually scare you into never wanting a roommate. "Did you hear her roommate steals her clothes?" "Her roommate doesn't shower!" "Wow, her roommate doesn't talk at all, and doesn't do laundry." From what I hear, there are more bad stories than good. That is why I consider myself lucky, because my roommate is nothing like one of those bad stories. When life hands you a good roommate after talking to about 40 girls through Facebook, a few things happen.

1. You always have someone to talk to.

2. You know each other's schedules, and whenever you both have a break is an exciting time.

3. You'll never have to dance alone.


4. You always have someone to do something with, even if it's just walking down the hall.

5. You both look out for each other, because this is your first time without your parents.

6. You always have a shoulder to lean on when things get tough.

7. Borrowing each other's things is a daily thing.

8. You TRY to help with each other's homework and assignments.

9. They're encouraging when it comes to boys. (Unless they're a f*ckboy.)

10. They're your biggest support system and your personal cheerleader.

11. They never forget to wish you luck on a big exam.

12. They accept how gross you are in the morning and not so pleasant sometimes.

13. You both know each other's favorite and least favorite things.

14. Leaving each other notes saying goodbye before class if you don't see them is normal.

15. Saying goodbye for breaks is upsetting.

16. Not seeing them all day is upsetting.

17. You have more pictures together than any of your other friends.

18. You found a best friend for life.

Cover Image Credit: Jordan Griffin

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Hello, 20, I Can't Wait To See What You Offer Me

The past 19 years were a blessing and I cannot wait to see what 20 has in store for me.

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Turning twenty is nothing special. My birthday was just another day, but, when I look back on the past nineteen years of my life, I see how special everything is.

In the past year alone, I have seen the most growth in myself. I found a better sense of who I am and who I want to be. I surrounded myself with better people and stepped away from toxic people. I pushed myself to try new things and trust in God more.

I remember being a little girl, fishing with my dad, playing with Barbies and being read bedtime stories every night.

I remember looking in the mirror as a little girl and picturing myself looking like my mom as a teenager and an adult.

When I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said I wanted to be a ballerina, play hockey and make wine. Then in high school, I was asked what college I wanted to go to. In college, I am asked what I am majoring in. Now, I am asked what I am going to do after college and my friends and I are talking about retirement plans and weddings.

I have come so far from my dreams as a little girl, but the end goal is still the same: be happy.

When we are little, we hold our parents' hands in the parking lot, we go to them when we have a bad dream and we run to their arms when we have had a bad day. Now, I am nearly completely on my own.

My mom doesn't wake me up in the morning, so if I sleep through my alarm, I am screwed. My parents aren't holding my hands anymore so if I get lost or trip, I have to pick myself up and find my own way. When I have a long day and it just seems like everything is falling apart, I have to get myself together.

We rush to grow up and be on our own.

Then we get bills and we get fired from our job and we run out of clean clothes to wear and the dishes pile up and we realize that growing up isn't all we dreamed it would be. I know that no matter how old I am, I will still call my parents asking for help and I will still sit in my mom's lap. Because I am learning that adults don't know what they are doing, they just aren't afraid to ask questions.

There are a lot of people that start asking me what I will do after school, where I want to live, when I will get married and when I will have kids. I promise myself not to rush further into adulthood. I want to enjoy each day without worrying about tomorrow or the next 10 years. I will appreciate living in a dorm, stressing out over exams and eating copious amounts of ramen because the stressors I will face in the next 10 years will make me miss these moments.

So, when I blow out the candles on my birthday, I wish for happiness, not only for myself but for my friends and family.

I wish for strength because the next few years are not going to be easy. I wish for guidance, because I know I can't do it on my own. I wish for more laughs, more smiles, more puppy kisses and more memories.

I hope that 20 is the best year yet and I can't wait to see how much I change in the next year.

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