Things I Learned: Summer Camp Edition

Between High School Houseboats, Middle School Summer Escape, and Elementary Summer XP, this was a summer of organized chaos. And it might have been my favorite summer ever. Not because it was the most outrageously fun events I have ever been apart of but because it challenged me.

Life gets boring if we aren't faced with new challenges and goals to accomplish. This summer, I spent a weekend sleeping on top of a houseboat in the middle of a lake surrounded by trees, glimmering stars, and about 100 high schoolers. (Okay, sleep was a stretch, maybe a nap.) Each boat took care of their own cooking, meaning the high schoolers were in charge of making all their meals for the boat, as well as cleaning up the mess that ensued throughout. It's so fun to watch students step up into a new challenge and come out feeling so accomplished. I learned that we don't nearly give enough credit to our students. Most of the time they hear the word "no" or "stop doing that" but this time around we get to tell them, "yeah, go for it!"  And as terrified as I was to eat some of the food, I couldn't have been more proud of them. 

We took our Middle School Ministry on a 4 day adventure through the mountains of Tahoe and a day on the American River maneuvering our way through crazy rapids. What we didn't account for was the mass amount of people that also decided to go to Tahoe the same time we did. I'm so thankful for my time serving in missions because flexibility was the theme for this trip. Reservations were missed, beaches were packed, and I'll forever remember to always bring an extra charger. Through everything though, our students were amazing. It reminded me that it's not about the plans that we make, how epic the day is but what really mattered was that we all knew we wanted to be together and that we were in this thing together. I will take a small group conversation outside as the sun sets over the water, over conquering beach bums and sunburns any day. It was the little moments that got remembered. 

Summer XP is an event that our Kids Ministry puts on for the K-5th graders in the summer. I had the chance to get our Middle Schoolers super involved in it this year serving as part of the games team and small group leaders. We were specifically in charge of creating and leading all the games for the week. Friends, I am in awe of the amazing leaders who courageously lead our kids ministry week by week. I was in it for 1 week and done. I loved hanging out with the kids and seeing the smiles on their faces but my heart is absolutely with students. That week I was reminded of how God has specifically created us with different passions and gifts. When I was struggling, someone was right there to back me up. It's such a beautiful picture of being one body. 

There is so much more that I have learned and still processing from this summer. But ministry is a nonstop automobile and it's time to start prepping for school kickoffs and fall camps! Stay tuned for what else I've been learning.   

What is something you have been learning this summer? 

From one human to the next,

Michelle