Deciding to work at camp was a very difficult decision. I applied for the job not really knowing what to think. Then an interview day was set up. I was really hesitant to go, and I didn’t decide if I was going until the night before.
*A few days after, I got an email asking if I wanted to be on staff, but that email sat in my inbox for three days before I even looked at it.Then making an impulsive decision, I emailed back saying I wanted the job.
Thoughts were racing, but I knew it was where God wanted me.
The next few months many thoughts crossed my mind about what camp would be like. Hundreds of blogs later, I realized that I would never understand what camp would be like until I was actually there.
This was an understatement.
Upon my arrival during staff training week, I felt at peace hearing everyone talk about the community of Camp Pecometh, and how it is unique from the rest of the world. Then I looked around at the sixty or so other staff members that I was surrounded by, half of them talking in foreign accents, and I really doubted how we are all going to become a family in just eight weeks.
My doubts quickly diminished as the week progressed, but my feelings of self-consciousness and self-doubt still lingered. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to take care of children and deal with their personal issues. In reality I just graduated from high school, and felt as though I had no credentials to be a substitute parent to these children all summer.
It is a good thing that God doesn’t call on the equipped, but He equips the called. And God definitely equipped me by the end of staff training week. On my first Sunday at camp, all these feelings were gone, which was a good thing because my first batch of campers would be there in just a few hours.
I learned a lot about God and myself this summer. Summer Camp is more than Jello Cake, Taco Tuesday, Jabulani, and beautiful sunsets.
In fact, Camp Pecometh’s main goal is not only to teach kids about God, but more importantly to allow children to experience Him face to face.
Camp allows kids, adults, and even staff to experience God to a whole new level.
Camp Pecometh also teaches independence and instills self-confidence in children. Because a child’s caregiver is not there, kids rely on their counselor and other staff to be there to support them and keep them safe, but they also have to be responsible for themselves.
Children experience the same anxiety I experienced when I first got to Camp Pecometh during staff training week. Kids will often stress about who is going to be in there cabin, if their counselor will be nice, and if they will miss home.
After the first night in almost all cases, these feelings diminish, kids feel safe, and excited about how much fun they’re going to have all week.
Kids and staff have the exact same parallels when it comes to feelings about camp.
People are nervous about doing things out of our comfort zone whether that is spending a summer away from home for the first time, or spending a week away from home for a child for the first time.
In both cases, people leave Camp Pecometh not only better people than when they got there, but also they leave after a God inspired life changing experience and the best summer or week of their life.
Looking back at camp, it was without a doubt the best summer of my life.
I experienced living by myself, having several responsibilities, and having to be extremely flexible. These are all major traits that every individual will need in life.
Campers experience the same thing to a different degree. They experience living without their family for a week with responsibilities from brushing their teeth, making their bed, and having a blast.
I had a camper tell me Thursday night while packing up, that her week of camp made her proud of herself and she didn’t know why. I just looked at her and said that that tends to happen when people come to camp. She smiled and continued packing her stuff.
Camp Pecometh truly is a special place that everyone should have the opportunity to experience!
Guest Blogger Emily Naylor has been working at camp as a camp counselor since 2013. Her home church is Kenton United Methodist church in Kenton, Delaware. She is currently a student at Messiah College, where she is studying Human Development and Family Science.
Summer Camp Staff must be at least 18 OR have graduated from high school. Aspiring staffers who do not yet meet the requirements should check out our Staff-in-Training Program!
Physical Address: 401 Jack Elliot Way, Centreville, MD 21617 * 410-556-6900