Not unlike when I attended camp as a camper, I was anxious and nervous about going and have ended up having the time of my life. This is possibly the best job I could’ve had after finishing up three emotionally, mentally, and intellectually challenging years of Divinity School. I’m being challenged but affirmed in my calling and am reminded of all of the things that they don’t always tell us in seminary. Namely, ministry is FUN!
So far we’ve planned and executed pre-camp with the little-bitties and their parents and planned the big camp sessions. When I go back tomorrow, we’ll be preparing for the arrival of the high-schoolers that afternoon. It helps that the college-age counselors that I am working with are fantastic and full of energy and great ideas. They’ve welcomed me with open arms, and hanging out with them reminds me of the great times I had with my friends at my college Episcopal student group.
In addition to aspects of ministry that I’ve done previously – teaching, preaching, serving the sacraments, leading a group in prayer, etc. – I’ve also acted as a drama coach, put together a week-long curriculum with a theme, refereed watermelon scramble, played foursquare, danced to Taylor Swift with pre-campers, been hit with toilet paper rolls during a game, and let my feet be mercilessly tickled in the pool.
While I miss Joe and the cats, so far, camp has been a great reminder of how much joy I feel when I’m serving God and how much I feel like I’m living into who God has called me to be when I’m doing ministry. Even though what I learned in graduate school was important, sometimes it was hard to see past my grades on finals or the tedium of writing papers to what Divinity School was preparing me to do and be. Being outside in creation, leading kids and adults in prayer after a bonfire and s’mores, being witnessed to by the rest of the staff, that’s what it’s really about.