Camp Speaker? Challenge Accepted.

Each day this month I will be answering one question from these December Journal Prompts.

Day 19: What challenged you this year and what was the result?

On July 1st this summer, while most of the country was out celebrating Canada day and awaiting the fireworks, Ryan and I were moving our little family of three into an RV trailer out at Pleasantview Bible Camp. We would spend the next seven weeks directing camps for kids and teens, running the leaders in training program, and figuring out how to navigate life at camp with a baby.

We’ve been at this camp thing for 9 summers now, and in many ways our roles there have become like second nature for us. But throwing a baby into the mix definitely put a new spin on the experience. And that wasn’t the only new challenge I faced this summer out at camp. This year I decided to take on a week as the camp speaker, meaning that I would speak for two 20-25 minute chapel sessions every day for 5 days.

I was excited for the opportunity to do something a bit different. But it’s funny… for as long as I’ve been working at camp, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into! It turned out to be a TON of work! Speaking for around one hundred 10-12 year-olds would mean having to come prepared with tons of fun activities to keep things interactive and lots of engaging object lessons to spark their interest. I used a phenomenal VBS resource from Orange as my base, but even still, editing, altering, and adding to the materials to make it fit in our context was an enormous undertaking!

When the week finally came around, my mom and two nieces drove up from Manitoba to help with Avra. I was so grateful for their contribution, as everyday was so quickly filled up with rehearsals, last-minute preparations, and of course spending time with campers. Between that and navigating the nursing schedule of a baby who was often still waking up at least once per night, it ended up being one of the most exhausting weeks I have ever spent at camp!

Overall, the experience turned out to be a much bigger challenge than I anticipated. I started making preparations months in advance and yet I still didn’t feel totally ready when the time came! Nonetheless, I am so thankful that I chose to challenge myself with this undertaking this year. The results were awesome. I received tons of great feedback from the other camp staff (so I must have done something right) and by the end of the week so many kids were able to share things that they had learned (and remembered!!) from my talks.

Not only that, but I got to take on something new and meaningful, and watch myself rise to the occasion and overcome the obstacles that stood in my way. That was encouraging for me! It pushed me to a new level of intentionality, and I grew stronger and braver as a result. The whole experience was truly rewarding for me!

All in all, I hope I get the chance to do this again someday. The challenge was totally worth it!

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