Courtney Parker (left) serving up s’mores with Aimee Perkins
Camp Pecometh has always been a part of Courtney Parker’s life. Her dad, Carlton, served on staff in the 1980s. Courtney attended mini-camp the summer after she finished kindergarten, and she came back to Camp Pecometh every summer after.
She still treasures the scrapbook of camp memories that she made after that first year of mini-camp!
Not everything was great during Courtney’s first summer at camp. She remembers the disappointment of being unable to pass the swim test that summer– she was very frustrated.
Upon returning home after camp, Courtney begged for swim lessons so that she could pass the swim test the next summer. Her mom eventually gave in and Courtney passed the test the following summer. This was an early lesson in perseverance for Courtney, and her friends and counselors were excited to see her succeed.
Growing up as a camper, the counselors made a huge impact on her life. She recalls Emily and Steven as two counselors she was especially fond of.
“The counselors really came down to our level. They didn’t just tell us what to do; they interacted with us and treated us with so much respect. Steven made every activity seem like the best thing in the world. Bible study, music, pool time, waterfront, and Vespers were all the ‘best thing in the world.’”
In her 7th grade school year, one of her long time friends stated they felt like they were growing out of camp.Courtney was just getting started. Courtney was recognizing the leadership skills she was learning in the programs she was attending (like Director’s Leadership Week) and seeing how they were able to be used back at school and in her community.
She realized, “What I learn at camp can be helpful for future me.”
Courtney’s transition from a camper to a counselor was an easy one. “Music time has always been my favorite time of the day. As a camper I would watch all the counselors and campers acting silly, the atmosphere, everyone so into it. ‘I want to do that", I told myself, and now I do. I scream out the lyrics and give it my all.”
In 2023, Courtney completed her second summer working as a camp counselor. Her mom Jane shared, “Courtney wanted to be the counselor that she had as a camper.”
Courtney agrees with that sentiment and adds, “campers are exposed to God but not forced to believe what they are told. They are able to live things out. Kids can be kids at Pecometh and really be unplugged from their electronics and home stuff they leave behind.”
As for being on staff, Courtney has many positive things to share. “You meet so many people from all walks of life. You lean on your coworkers so much. The staff is just as unplugged as the campers and they focus on the group of campers for the week. You don’t have time to worry about what the latest TikTok trend is.”
Courtney’s hope for the future of Pecometh is that the campers continue to come and have a positive experience. She knows the peace that campers can experience by just stepping on the property, a feeling she understands well. She knows God is here at Pecometh, with the staff and campers, keeping them safe and loved.
If you see Courtney around Camp Pecometh, make sure to say hi to her if she hasn’t already greeted you first! And if you are at music time with Courtney, be prepared for her to be singing at the top of her lungs.